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English translation of anni mundi 
6095-6305 (a.d. 602-813), with introduction 
and notes, 


Harry Turtledove 

University of Pennsylvania Press 




Copyright © 1982 by the University of Pennsylvania Press 
All rights reserved 

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 

Theophanes, the Confessor, d. ca. 818. 

The chronicle of Theophanes. 

(Middle Ages) 

Translation of: Chronographia. 

Bibliography: p. 

Includes index. 

1. World history- Early works to 1800. I. Turtledove 
Harry. II. Title. III. Series. 

D17.T513 909’. 1 82-4861 

ISBN 0-8122-7842-9 AACR2 
0-8122-1128-6 (pbk.) 

Printed in the United States of America 





Byzantine Emperors 602-813 


Persian Kings 602-651 


Arab Rulers 622-632 233 


Patriarchs of Constantinople 602-835 


Popes 602-813 


Antipopes 602-813 


teie chronicles 








There is, it is said, an old Chinese curse: “May you live 
in interesting times.” This is a malediction most relevant 
to the later Roman, or, as it is usually known by this time, 
the Byzantine Empire of the seventh and eighth centuries. 
In 602, the Empire’s eastern heartland had virtually the 
same makeup of territories as it had had three centuries 
before: the Balkan peninsula, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, 
and Egypt. In addition, the coast of north Africa, southern 
Spain, Sicily, and a large part of Italy were in Byzantine 
hands, thanks to the reconquests ofjustinian I (527-565). 

These reconquests, though, had cost the Empire far 
more in men and wealth than it could hope to realize from 
the regained land. At the beginning of the seventh century 
its overextended frontiers collapsed, and the next 120 
years were little more than a desperate struggle for sur- 
vival. The great imperial capital, Constantinople, was be- 
sieged three times: in 626 by the Persians and Avars, and 
in 674—678 and 717-718 by the Arabs. The latter, newly 
unified by Islam, wrested Syria and Palestine (638), Egypt. 
(641), and north Africa (698) from the Byzantines; Byzan- 
tine Spain had fallen to the Visigoths by 631, but in 71 1 
the Arabs conquered them as well. While the Byzantines 
fought grimly and all too often unsuccessfully to hold the 
line in the east, great numbers of Slavs established them- 
selves in the Balkans, to be joined near the close of the 
seventh century by the Bulgars, a people originally of Tur- 
kic descent. For all the Empire’s travails, though, the Per- 
sians, Byzantium’s long-time rivals for dominance in the 
Near East, doubtless would have been happy to exchange 
fates. The Sassanid state, even more debilitated than the 
Byzantines by their mutually destructive war of 602-628, 
was entirely under Arab rule by 651. 

Had Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire not 
survived, the history of the world would have been incalcu- 




lably different. In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 
Edward Gibbon envisions Oxford dons learnedly expatiat- 
ing on the Koran rather than the Bible had the Arabs won 
the battle of Tours against the Franks. The destruction of 
the Byzantine Empire would have made some such picture 
likelier yet. With Constantinople gone, what could have 
stopped the Arabs from sweeping into southeastern 
Europe — and bringing Islam with them? Their faith, 
rather than Christianity, might well have taken root among 
the Balkan Slavs and spread north to the people who 
would become the Russians, leaving Christendom as an 
isolated, backwards appendage to a Eurasia largely Mus- 
lim. Though the medieval west little appreciated it, one of 
Byzantium’s most important historical roles was precisely 
this, a bulwark against the expansion of Islam. 

After the failure of the great Arab assault of 717-718, 
it became clear that the Byzantine Empire would not fall 
to outside attack. Nevertheless, the Empire was far from 
peaceful during the eighth century. It was caught up in a 
great religious upheaval over the propriety of the use of 
images in church worship — the iconoclastic controversy— 
which had social and political implications as profound as 
the theological. A measure of the iconoclasts’ fury may be 
seen in the paucity of icons from Byzantine territory which 
predate the struggle. Only in places like St. Catherine’s 
monastery on Mt. Sinai (which in the eighth century was 
in Muslim territory and hence beyond the reach of the 
iconoclasts) have pre-iconoclastic icons survived until the 
present in any numbers. 

The monastic chronicler Theophanes was born in the 
midst of the dispute over images, at some time in the 
period 752-760. He was the son of high-ranking and 
wealthy parents, Isaac and Theodote by name. In later 
years his family would become related to the Macedonian 
house, the dynasty which ruled Byzantium for almost two 
hundred splendid years (867-1056). Isaac and Theodote 
were as pious as they were rich, and favored the use of 
images within the Byzantine church. Theophanes’ father 
outwardly concealed his iconophilic sentiments well 
enough to keep the trust of the arch-iconoclast Emperor 
Constantine V (741—775). After Theophanes was or- 
phaned while still young, the Emperor saw to his educa- 
tion and upbringing. 

During the reign of Constantine V’s son and succes- 


sor, Leo IV (775-780), Theophanes acquired the honorific 
title of spatharios. During his youth he had been betrothed 
to Megalo, the daughter of a Byzantine patrician. They 
were briefly married, but their union does not seem to 
have been more than a polite fiction designed to circum- 
vent the iconoclastic government’s opposition to monasti- 
cism: monks were among the staunchest backers of the 
icons. When iconoclasm and anti-monasticism lost mo- 
mentum with the death of Leo IV, the two pious partners 
separated to pursue the monastic way of life. Theophanes 
founded a monastery near Sigriane on the Asian shore of 
the Sea of Marmora, and dwelt therein, much of the time 
in poor health, until 815 or 816. At that time, iconoclasm 
revived under Leo V, the Armenian (813-820). Theo- 
phanes, like most monks, refused to sanction the destruc- 
tion of images; for his opposition, he was imprisoned in 
Constantinople and then exiled to the island of Samo- 
thrake, where he died in 818. To this day, the Greek 
church recognizes him as a confessor, one who, though 
not suffering the trials of a martyr, nevertheless lived a life 
of outstanding holiness under difficult circumstances. 

Were it not for the chronicle he left behind, however, 
Theophanes would be little more than a footnote on the 
pages of Byzantine history. Throughout the long history 
of the Byzantine Empire, there were two distinct ap- 
proaches to historiography, that of the historians per se and 
that of the chroniclers. These differed from each other 
both intellectually and linguistically. Beginning in the time 
of Justinian I with Prokopios (if one neglects the largely 
vanished historians of the fifth century) and extending 
through the work of Kritoboulos (who recorded the 
achievements of Mehmet II, the conqueror of Constan- 
tinople), Byzantine historians dealt with discrete chunks of 
time, usually a half-century or less, which they treated in 
considerable detail. 

It was normal Byzantine practice to have only one 
historian for any given period, each succeeding author 
taking up his task where his predecessor had laid it down. 
There are occasional exceptions to this rule. One is the 
late sixth century, where Menander Protector, Theo- 
phanes of Byzantium (not our chronicler), and John of 
Epiphaneia each wrote an independent continuation of 
the work of Agathias. Not one of these three has survived 
intact. Another exception is the troubled mid-eleventh 



century, where Michael Psellos and Michael Attaleiates 
produced works of widely differing approach and political 

Unlike the situation in the medieval West, in Byzan- 
tium knowledge of the classical past was not lost, nor did 
it become the sole preserve of the church. Byzantine his- 
torians were highly educated men. They were quite famil- 
iar with a wide range of Greek authors, upon whom they 
drew for concepts, vocabulary, and even, on occasion, for 
spellings long archaic in the time during which they them- 
selves wrote. The great ancient historians, Herodotus and, 
especially, Thucydides, served as their models. In many 
ways this was admirable; it gave Byzantine historians a 
detachment and a sophistication of analysis almost totally 
absent from contemporary western European and Islamic 

Byzantine imitation of the classics, though, brought its 
own problems. The historians of the Empire did their best 
to imitate their magnificent forerunners not only in ap- 
proach but also in style, and here they stumbled badly. The 
Greek language had changed greatly between the “golden 
age of Athens and the time of the Byzantine Empire, and it 
was no more natural for a Constantinopolitan of, say, the 
tenth century a.d. to write Thucydidean Attic Greek than it 
would be for a modern historian to try to express himself in 
the idiom of Thomas North, the sixteenth-century transla- 
tor of Plutarch whose work Shakespeare used. Worse yet, 
the influence of rhetoric on Greek literature made an 
unusual and convoluted style desirable. Striving for or- 
nateness in a language not quite their own, Byzantine 
historians commonly produced works which, while rich in 
data, are neither easy nor pleasant to read. 

Because of the changes in the Greek language, the 
historians of the Empire were not much more accessible 
to most of its own citizens than they are to nonspecialists 
of today. To meet the interest of the modestly educated 
Byzantine majority in its past, chroniclers arose. The earli- 
est surviving example is John Malalas, a younger contem- 
porary of Prokopios. Chroniclers’ work differed from that 
of their more learned colleagues in several ways. Most 
chroniclers treated events from the creation of the world 
to their own time. Their accounts of times long before 
their own drew heavily on the Bible, ecclesiastical authors, 
and the works of earlier chroniclers, usually somewhat less 



upon historians unless these latter were excerpted in a 
chronicle. Theophanes is an exception here, for he was 
sophisticated enough to draw directly upon and simplify 
such authors as Prokopios and Theophylaktos Simokatta, 
whose history covers the reign of the Emperor Maurice 
(582-602). Later Byzantine chroniclers, even such emi- 
nent men as George Kedrenos in the eleventh century and 
John Zonaras in the twelfth, seem to have used Theo- 
phanes as their guide rather than the primary sources he 
himself employed. It would not be amiss to note here that 
attitudes toward what we today would consider plagiarism 
were far different throughout ancient and medieval times. 
It was thought perfectly proper to adopt for one’s own use 
large segments of another author’s work without giving 
any source citation whatsoever. 

Theophanes’ chronicle is unusual in that it does not 
commence with the Creation, but rather deals with the 
period from 284 to 813: from the accession of Diocletian 
to that of Leo V. The reason for this is that Theophanes’ 
Chronographia is a continuation of the work of George the 
Synkellos, a fellow monk who had brought his own chroni- 
cle from Adam up to a.d. 284 at the time of his own death, 
probably in 810 or 811. A recent stimulating article pro- 
poses that Theophanes was no more than the final editor 
and compiler of a chronicle actually composed by George, 
who, it argues, lived on for a couple of years after his 
supposed death date and continued to write during that 
time. Because the Chronographia refers to the Emperor Leo 
V as “pious” and as a “legal Roman Emperor” (de Boor 
edition, p. 502; this translation, pp. 180-81), its terminus ad 
quem is taken to be no later than late 814 (the date of the 
second outbreak of iconoclasm), leaving too short a time, 
supposedly, for Theophanes to have completed the work 
from his commencement after George’s death. 

It is, however, quite doubtful that the Chronographia 
was actually finished by late 814. When fulminating 
against the iniquities of the arch-iconoclast Constantine V, 
the author remarks that he is making a list of the Em- 
peror’s transgressions, “so that it may be a clear aid for 
men in the future and for those wretched, arrogant manikins who 
are now stumbling into the loathsome and evil doctrine of the 
supreme lawbreaker” (de Boor edition, p. 413; this trans- 
lation, p. 104 — italics added). This can only refer to the 
second period of iconoclasm initiated by Leo V and his 




backers, and clearly shows the author of the chronicle was ’ 

writing at least into 815, well past any proposed death date j 

for George the Synkellos. That Leo V is termed “pious” | 

and a “legal Roman Emperor” bespeaks no more than a f 

lack of revision in the text, as is evident in many other , 

places; indeed, Leo III, the initiator of iconoclasm, is him- \ 

self once termed “pious” (de Boor edition, p. 396; this i 

translation, p. 88). 

There is a second telling argument against George S 

the Synkellos’ authorship of the Chronographia. Whoever ; 

its author may be, he is entirely ignorant of much of the 
material for the reigns of Herakleios, Constantine III, and S 

Heraklonas which appears in Nikephoros’ Historia Syntomos . 

( Brief History), which covers the period 602-769; it is better 
written and more nearly impartial than the Chronographia, 
but far more obscure in chronology and, especially after 
641, much less detailed. The Historia Syntomos seems to 
have been composed sometime between 775 and 797, and 
probably before 787. Now, George earned his sobriquet 
by serving as synkellos under the patriarch Tarasios (784- 
806). Nikephoros, the author of the Historia Syntomos, was 
also Tarasios’ protege, and in fact succeeded him as patri- 
arch, serving from 806 until his ouster by Leo V in 815. ; 

He and George must have known each other well. If j 

George the Synkellos was the author of the chronicle usu- I 

ally ascribed to Theophanes, why did he not make use of I 

Nikephoros’ already existing chronicle in his own compo- 
sition? The fact that Theophanes was isolated at Sigriane 
strongly serves to increase the likelihood of his authorship j 

of the Chronographia. jj 

Chroniclers were less sophisticated than historians. j 

Where historians, following their classical exemplars, 
made a genuine effort to capture the underlying causes of j: 

events, chroniclers were content with more simplistic ex- 
planations. Thus Theophanes ascribes the explosive ex- f 

pansion of the Arabs and the successes of the Bulgars to 
divine chastisement of the Byzantines because of the mul- 
titude of their sins, and for Constans II’s abandonment of 
Constantinople for Italy and Sicily entirely blames the hos- | 

tility of the people of the capital, ignoring the desperate I 

position of the Byzantine West at the time. j 

Both because they were intended for a broad, rela- 
tively little-educated audience and because their authors I 

were themselves less learned than historians, Bvzantine 


xii | 

chronicles do not partake of the pseudo-classical stylistic 
convolutions and archaizing vocabulary in which the his- 
torians so delighted. In these matters, Theophanes’ work 
is typical of the genre; indeed, if measured by classical 
standards, many of his constructions are not even gram- 
matically correct. He frequently uses genitive absolutes 
having the same subject as the main verb of his sentence, 
a construction irregular and abnormal in the classical 
tongue. He is careless with his prepositions, recognizing 
no distinction in meaning between etc, with the accusative 
case (properly, “into”) and ev with the dative (properly, 
“in”), and occasionally employing with his prepositions 
cases which would have made a classical writer cringe, 
such as (tvv followed by the genitive. Mirroring contem- 
porary speech patterns, he sometimes uses a periphrastic 
future, creating this tense with exw and the infinitive of the 
verb instead of a single conjugated verb form. In his writ- 
ing, as in his time generally, the optative mood is all but 
extinct, surviving only in such stereotyped expressions as 
“ixi) yevoLTo ” (literally, “May it not come to pass,” i.e., 
“Heaven forbid!”). Most Byzantine historians felt they 
knew enough to use the optative correctly; some of them 
were right. 

Theophanes’ vocabulary is far from classical and, in- 
terestingly, becomes steadily less so as his chronicle ap- 
proaches his own time. In the early part of his work, 
derived from authors of the fourth and fifth centuries, 
there are few words not found in Liddell and Scott’s A 
Greek-English Lexicon, while scores of such words appear in 
that part of the Chronographia treating the seventh and 
eighth centuries. Many of these, especially terms dealing 
with the government and the military, are derived from 
Latin; in their own eyes, of course, the Byzantines were 
Romans, and called themselves such. The church and its 
institutions borrowed from Hebrew and Aramaic, while 
Arabic, Persian, and the speeches of the Empire’s Turkic 
and Slavic northern neighbors also left their marks on the 
language Theophanes wrote. 

Our chronicler is not stylistically impressive. His is for 
the most part what might best be described as an efficient 
prose, with the occasional purple passage, especially 
where his theology is touched (e.g., his vitriolic denuncia- 
tions of Constantine V). His sentences consist, for the 
most part, of a simple basic unit accompanied by one or 



more participial phrases or genitive absolutes. This un- 
comp icated structure is no doubt deliberate, and de- 

hl^TT, IO ma ^ e c ^ lron ' c ^ e more broadly comprehensi- 
e. eophanes can, and on occasion does, abandon it in 
tavor of a more complex phraseology. As his simplification 
ol such difficult authors as Prokopios and Simokatta 
shows, he himself was reasonably at home with the difficult 

Byzantine high style, and purposely avoided it in his own 

To carry this point a step further, it must be empha- 
sized that it would be altogether unfair to expect Theo- 
phanes to conform totally to linguistic standards obsolete 
for a millennium and more. If languages do not die, they 
change. That Theophanes’ work bears even limited com- 
parison to classical Greek is a mark of the tenacious con- 
servatism of the written, as opposed to the spoken, tongue 
-a problem which still applies to modern Greek. The 
spoken tongue m Theophanes’ time was much closer to 
modern spoken Greek than to the ancient language, and 
only a relatively small part of this shift shows itself, even 
in popular works like that of the monk. 

From the preceding discussion, the question must 
inevitably arise: if Theophanes’ chronicle is unexciting to 

T d m nd K a u gdy dCnVed from P revious sources, why 
should it be bothered with at all? For the first three centu- 

ries and more of this work (i.e., for the period 284-602) 
the chronicle is of very limited independent historical’ 
value, as we have m the original most of the authors from 
whom the monk borrowed. There are occasional snippets 
o information unknown elsewhere, but on the whole this 
early part of the work is no more than a minor supplement 
to more nearly contemporary sources. 

For the period 602-8 1 3, however, just the opposite is 
true. Almost all of Theophanes’ sources have themselves 
perished, leaving his chronicle as the indispensable guide 
to a time crucial in the evolution of the Byzantine Empire. 
The seventh and eighth centuries are so barren of surviv- 
ing historical literature (or, in fact, literature of any sort) 
that they have been termed, with justice, “the dark age of 
Byzantium. The reasons for this scarcity of sources are 
not hard to understand. As we have seen, the seventh 
century was for Byzantium a time of almost continuous 
dire warfare. While great deeds aplenty were done, there 
was scant leisure to record them. The iconoclastic contro- 



versy which followed was, if anything, more damaging to 
literary survival than the previous strife had been. While 
in power (726-780), the iconoclasts did their best to de- 
stroy the writings of their opponents, and when those who 
favored images returned to a position of authority, it was 
the turn of iconoclastic literature to see the torch. 

After Simokatta brought his history to an end with the 
overthrow and murder of Maurice in 602, no historian 
whose work survives would labor for more than two hun- 
dred years, and with the Byzantine historical tradition thus 
running dry, Theophanes was compelled to make do with 
such other materials as were available to him. He used 
George of Pisidia’s epic poetry on Herakleios’ defense of 
the Empire against the Persians as a source for the reign 
of that Emperor; his long excursus on monotheletism is 
drawn from the vita of St. Maximus the Confessor. For the 
history of the later seventh century and first half of the 
eighth, Theophanes used a chronicle probably written by 
the patrician Trajan (a work now lost) and an equally per- 
ished anonymous monastic work written after the death of 
Constantine V, both of which are also recognized as 
sources for the historical works of the patriarch Nike- 
phoros. A newly-published monograph on the reign of the 
Emperor Constantine VI (780-797) has referred to the 
existence of a biography of that Emperor and a separate 
chronicle as sources for Theophanes’ treatment of him, 
unfortunately without documenting the suggestion. 

In addition to using these surviving, lost, and hypo- 
thetical Greek works, Theophanes’ chronicle is uniquely 
valuable because it also employs a Greek translation of a 
late eighth-century chronicle originally written in Syriac. 
This is the source from which Theophanes obtained his 
surprisingly accurate information on events in Muslim- 
held territory. Passages paralleling this chronicle’s contri- 
butions to Theophanes occur in the works of the much 
later Syriac writers, Michael the Syrian and Bar Hebraeus; 
the original, once more, has not survived. The most likely 
means of transmission of this chronicle to Theophanes 
was by the monks who, fleeing Muslim persecution, ar- 
rived in Constantinople via Cyprus from the Holy Land in 
813. Another possibility, raised by Mango in the same 
article in which authorship of the Chronographia is ascribed 
to George the Synkellos, is that George, who was himself 
at one time a resident of Palestine, brought a copy of this 



chronicle with him to Constantinople and either translated 
it into Greek or had it translated. 

Where Nikephoros’ chronology in the Histoiia Syntomos 
is casual, that of Theophanes is far and away the most 
elaborately developed of any Byzantine chronicler’s. In 
this he emulated George the Synkellos’ careful chronolog- 
ical schema, and for the seventh and eighth centuries pro- 
vides much of our chronological framework for Byzantine 
affairs. His work is in the form of annals, the events of each 
year being listed separately. As his work continues that of 
George the Synkellos, he employs the same world-era as 
did that monk: the Alexandrian era, which dates the crea- 
tion of the universe to September 1, 5493 b.c. Most earlier 
authors who used the Alexandrian era dated the Creation 
at the vernal equinox rather than on September 1, but the 
Byzantine year began on the latter date, and Theophanes 
uses it as the first day of his year (there is a minority 
opinion, headed by Venance Grumel, which feels that 
Theophanes sometimes begins his years on March 25, but 
the evidence does not seem to favor this hypothesis). 

Each year’s events, then, in Theophanes’ chronicle, 
are headed by an annus mundi, a year [since the Creation] 
of the world to which they are assigned. To convert an 
annus mundi of Theophanes to a date a.d., subtract 5492 
if it is between January 1 and August 31, or 5493 if be- 
tween September 1 and December 31. From time to time 
Theophanes provides his own dates a.d.. This method was 
not a usual Byzantine practice; we should not be surprised 
to learn that his conversion factor from annus mundi to a.d. 
differs from ours. His years a.d. begin, like any Byzantine 
years, on September 1, and differ from the annus mundi by 
exactly 5,500. In this translation, Theophanes’ annus mundi 
is converted into modern reckoning in parentheses beside 
it; where Theophanes lists them, his dates “a.d.” are re- 
tained, but should be ignored, e.g.: 


602-AUGUST 31, 603) — correct date by modern 

ad. 595 — Theophanes ’ own — incorrect — a.d. 

Along with the annus mundi, Theophanes also always 
reports the regnal year of the reigning Byzantine Emperor, 
that of the ruler of Byzantium’s eastern neighbor (first the 


Sassanid king of Persia, then the Arab caliph), and that of 
the patriarch of Constantinople. These three dates are 
almost always quite accurate, especially, of course, the first 
and third. Theophanes also reports as much information as 
he can on the reigns of the other four patriarchs— the 
patriarchs of Rome (that is, the Popes), Alexandria, Anti- 
och, and Jerusalem. Through the end of the sixth century, 
he has fairly thorough data on all these sees, but the Slavic 
penetration into the Balkans and the Arab conquests in the 
Near East progressively disrupt his knowledge of the vari- 
ous patriarchal successions, and for the seventh and eighth 
centuries his information on the patriarchates no longer 
under Byzantine control is sketchy and not always accurate. 
Still, it can be seen that he is, to the best of his ability, 
constructing a thorough and most elaborate chronological 
skeleton on which to place his chronicle’s flesh. 

There is yet another method Theophanes uses 
throughout the Chronographia to keep track of time: the 
indiction. This was originally a fifteen-year cycle for the 
reassessment of taxes. Though obsolete in that sense long 
before Theophanes’ time, the fifteen-year cycle itself sur- 
vived to become a Byzantine means of reckoning time: it 
was common practice to date an event by saying that it took 
place in, for example, the sixth year of the indiction cycle, 
which was usually shortened to simply the “sixth indic- 

It is in reconciling dates as expressed by the annus 
mundi and as expressed by the indiction that we encounter 
the knottiest problems in clarifying Theophanes’ chronol- 
ogy. The principal reason, indeed, for believing that 
Theophanes may have done such a curious thing as to use 
two different dates for the beginning of his year is that this 
would clear up some of the chronological difficulties his 
work poses. Besides being inherently illogical for anyone 
as vitally concerned with clear chronology as was the 
monk, however, the dual-date hypothesis by no means 
explains all the dilemmas in the chronicle. 

George Ostrogorsky offers a more satisfactory solu- 
tion to the riddle. The Russian Byzantinist made a pains- 
taking comparison of the dates of accession and death of 
the Byzantine Emperors of the seventh and eighth centu- 
ries as listed in Theophanes and as given by other sources. 
He also performed a similar task for the accessions of the 
Arab caliphs, comparing those dates given in Theophanes 





with their counterparts in Muslim historiography. Os- 
trogorsky s conclusion is that Theophanes always cor- 
rectly reports the number of the year in the indiction cycle, 
but that for most of the seventh and eighth centuries the 
annus mundi is a year behind the stated number of the 
indiction. The discrepancy begins with annus mundi 6102 
(which should be a.d. 609/610, but is in fact 610/611) and 
continues through annus mundi 6265 (which should be a.d. 
772/773 but is in fact 773/774), except for the period 
annus mundi 6207-7218 (a.d. 714/715-725/726), where 
the monk’s errors apparently cancel out each other. It 
should be noted that Ostrogorsky’s scheme is probably 
not perfect. An eclipse Theophanes dates to 5 Hyper- 
bataios (i.e., October), annus mundi 6186, which by Os- 
trogorsky’s chronology would be a.d. 694, actually took 
place in the previous year. On balance, though, Os- 
trogorsky does give the best and most consistent solution 
to the problems Theophanes presents, and the dates in 
the modern calendar given in this translation follow Os- 
trogorsky’s reckoning. 

The profound influence Theophanes’ work had on 
later Byzantine chroniclers has already been mentioned. 
They used the Chronographia not only as a source of infor- 
mation but also as a model of what a chronicle should be; 
it is a pity more of them did not emulate the monk’s metic- 
ulous establishment of chronology. Theophanes’ chroni- 
cle was also of great importance to western medieval his- 
torical writing. A papal librarian, Anastasius, translated 
Theophanes from Greek into Latin in the second half of 
the ninth century, perhaps half a century after the death 
of the author. Anastasius’ translation was widely read and 
used in its own time, and has not lost its importance to 
scholars to this day. The papal librarian’s work was trans- 
lated from a manuscript of Theophanes older than any 
which is yet extant, and is therefore an important aid in 
establishing the proper text of the chronicle. 

Theophanes has never before been rendered into Eng- 
lish, even in part. There is a German translation of the 
period 717-813, published as Bilderstreit und Arabersturm in 
volume six of the series Byzantinische Geschichtsschreiber 
(Graz, 1957). The present translation of the period 602- 
813 (that is, the period for which Theophanes is of chief 
independent historical value) is based on the standard 
edition of the work, edited and with commentary by C. de 

| Boor (Leipzig, 2 volumes, 1883, 1885). The numbers in 

, the left margin of the translation indicate the pagination 

! in volume I of de Boor’s edition; volume II consists of an 
edition of Anastasius’ translation of Theophanes, as well 
_ as a most valuable and thorough commentary and indices. 

I Translating a language whose genius is as different 

; from that of English as is Greek’s is fraught with a mulli- 

| tude of dangers. If one sticks to the letter, the spirit disap- 

jj pears, but straying too far from literality inevitably in- 

troduces distortions of its own. My goal is to present as 
clear an English version of Theophanes as is possible. The 
division of the work into paragraphs is, for the most part, 
: my own. I have rearranged the clauses of Theophanes’ 

sentences when this was needed to make his meaning dear 
l in a tongue that cannot have the complex structure per- 

| mitted by Greek’s inflections. On one or two occasions, 

| when Theophanes makes a brief digression before return- 

: ing to his original topic, I have shifted the digression to a 

place where it does not break the flow of the narrative. I 
have rendered his unending stream of participial phrases 
and genitive absolutes in a variety of ways, each as seemed 
| appropriate in its own context, and have, though much 

j less frequently, reversed active and passive voices. A good 

many aforementioned s, so-called s, the same s, and himselfs, 
good Greek but dreadful English, have fallen by the way- 
side, and a fair number of superlative adverbs and adjec- 
tives such as “most terrible” have been toned down in 
accordance with conventional English practice. The distri- 
bution of nouns and pronouns also follows the demands 
of English, not Greek. 

A final perplexity facing the translator of Byzantine 
Greek lies in his method of transliterating proper names 
and toponyms. Where a person or place has a well-known 
English version (e.g., John, Jerusalem), I have used it. 

| Most other names have been transliterated from Greek 

I into English without a detour through Latin (Herakleios, 

not Heraclius). Exceptions are those names and titles of 
Latin origin (e.g., Valentinus, cubicularius), which are 
rendered in latinized form. Also excepted are most names 
of Arabic origin, which are given in their native form 
rather than disguised by hellenized spellings and nominal 
endings, as is Theophanes’ usual practice. 

One of the pleasures of translating is being able to 
acknowledge one’s debts. I first learned of the existence of 




Byzantium from the works of the scholar and novelist L. 
Sprague de Camp. Theophanes and I made our first ac- 
quaintance in Speros Vryonis, Jr.’s seminar in 1972. Pro- 
fessor Vryonis has given me invaluable aid on the more 
obscure portions of the text. The first draft of this transla- 
tion came into being in 1973, in Milton V. Anastos’ semi- 
nar on Byzantine Greek. Professor Anastos, too, gave me 
a great deal of essential help. 

Finally, I would like to thank John Langdon, Steve 
Reinert, and my wife, Laura, whose encouragement kept 
this project, which has advanced only by fits and starts, 
from halting altogether. Without the assistance and 
friendship of all these people this translation would be 
much poorer; any remaining defects are, of course, only 
my own. 

. It' 










Constantine III* 




Constans II* 


Constantine IV* 


Justinian II* 




Apsimaros (Tiberius III) 


Justinian II (again)* 


Bardanes Philippikos 


Artemios (Anastasios II) 


Theodosios III 


Leo III** 


Constantine V** 


Leo IV** 


Constantine VI** 




Nikephoros I 




Michael I Rhangabe 


Leo V 


* Dynasty of Herakleios 
**Isaurian dynasty 


I Khosroes II 591-628 

[ Kavad II (known to Theophanes as 

Siroes) 628 

Ardaser III 628-629 

| Sarbaros (also called Sarbarazas) 629 

I Borane 629-630 

| Hormisdas V 630-632 (?) 

Yazdagird III 632-651 


ARAB RULERS 622-813 



The “rightly-guided” caliphs 

Abu Bakr 
Umar I 





The Umayyads 

Muawiyah I 
Yezid I 
Muawiyah II 
Marwan I 
Abd al-Malik 
Walid I 
Umar II 
Yezid II 
Walid II 
Yezid III 
Marwan II 



683- 684 (?) 

684- 685 

685- 705 

743- 744 

744- 750 

The Abbasids 

Abu-l-Abbas as-Saffah (known to 

Theophanes as Muhammad) 750-754 

AI- Mansur (known to Theophanes 

as Abd Allah) 754-775 

Mahdi 775-785 

Al-Hadi (known to Theophanes as 

Musa) 785-786 

Harun ar-Rashid 786-809 

Al-Amin (known to Theophanes as 

Muhammad) 809-813 

Al-Mamun 813-833 





Thomas I 




Pyrrhos I 


Paul II 


Pyrrhos I (again) 




Thomas II 


John V 


Constantine I 


Theodore I 


George I 


Theodore I (again) 


Paul III 


Kallinikos I 



705-712 (?) 

John VI 

712 (?)— 7 1 5 

Germanos I 




Constantine II 


Niketas I 


Paul IV 


Taras ios 




POPES 602-813 

Gregory I (“the Great”) 




Boniface III 


Boniface IV 


Deodatus I 


Boniface V 


Honorius I 




John IV 


Theodore I 


Martin I 


Eugenius I 




Deodatus II 




Domnus I 




Leo II 


Benedict II 


John V 




Sergios I 


John VI 


John VII 






Gregory II 


Gregory III 




Stephen II 


Paul I 


Stephen III 


Hadrian I 


Leo III 


ANTIPOPES 602-813 










290 ANNUS MUNDI 1 6095 (SEPTEMBER 1, 602— AUGUST 31, 603) 
a.d. 595 

Roman Emperor Phokas: 7 years: year 1 
Persian King Khosroes: 39 years : year 15 
Bishop of Constantinople Kyriakos: 1 1 years: year 9 
Bishop of Jerusalem Isaac: 8 years: year 3 
Bishop of Alexandria Eulogios: 2 7 years: year 24 
I Bishop of Antioch Anastasios: 9 years: year 3 

In this year — the sixth indiction 2 — in November Phokas became 
; 291 Emperor. As was said before, the rebel killed Maurice 3 and his five 
sons. Ele ordered their heads placed in the Camp of the Tribunal for 
a number of days. The inhabitants of the city went out to look at them 
until they began to stink. Maurice’s brother Peter and many others 
I were also killed, but there was a strong rumor that Maurice’s son 
Theodosios had got away and still survived. 

S The Persian king Khosroes strengthened this rumor: he lied now 

I one way, now another, saying he had Theodosios with him and in- 
tended to restore him to rule over the Romans. He hoped to conquer 
the Roman Empire by deception, as was proved in many ways, most 
of all by his inciting unforeseen enemies and devastating Roman terri- 
tory. When Phokas sent Bilios as an ambassador to him, he seized the 
man and imprisoned him so he could not return to Roman land, 
answering Phokas with dishonorable letters. 

I The tyrant put the Empress Constantina 4 and her three daughters 

1 in a private house called that of Leo. 

1. Theophanes, as noted in the introduction, reckons the Creation to 
have taken place in 5493 b.c., and reckons his annus mundi — “year [since the 
creation] of the world” — accordingly. 

2. The indiction was a levy in kind introduced by Diocletian in the late 
third century. It was collected uniformly throughout the Empire, and was 
based on units of land roughly equivalent in productive capacity. As the system 
was originally designed, these were subject to reassessment every fifteen years. 
Many of these payments in kind had been commuted to cash payments by the 
end of the fifth century, but the fifteen-year cycle remained as a means of 
dating events: as here, 602/603 being the sixth [year of the] indiction [cycle]. 

3. A most able man, Maurice was Emperor from 582 to 602. In 591, 
thanks to civil war among the Persians, he brought to a successful conclusion 
the Byzantine-Persian war which had begun in 572. He then turned against the 
Avars, who had been raiding the Balkans with virtual impunity while the bulk 
of the Roman forces were in the east. But the weak financial condition of the 
; Empire forced him to scant his troops (not for the first time), and in 602, 

[ angered at being ordered to winter in Avar territory, they rebelled, named 

; Phokas Emperor, and marched on Constantinople, where Maurice and his 

[ sons met their fate, 

j 4. The widow of Maurice. 



In Alexandria a pious copyist who during the middle of the night 
was rave ing ome from a vigil saw statues® being dragged down from 
eir Pedestals while they were loudly saying Maurice and his sons had 
been killed and were relating all the mishaps which had occurred at 
Byzantium. At dawn the man went to the Augustal prefect® and told him 
a out this. He told the man not to reveal it to anyone, made note of the 
day, and eagerly awaited the arrival of a messenger. Nine days later the 
messenger arrived, saying Maurice had been killed. Then the Augustal 

prefect triumphantly told the people of the divinities’ prediction. 

rhe J* oman general Narses rose up against the tyrant and took 
tdessa. Phokas wrote to the general Germanos to besiege that town 
Narses wrote to the Persian king Khosroes, asking him to assemble his 
292 forces and attack the Romans. Phokas appointed his own brother 
Domentziolos magistros 7 and Priskos count of the excubitores « 

ANNUS MUNDI 6096 (SEPTEMBER 1, 603— AUGUST 31, 604) 

2. 16. 10. 4. 25. 4* 

In this year— the seventh indiction— in December, Phokas, con- 
tinuing his celebrations, distributed much consular largess 10 The Per- 
sian king Khosroes mustered a large force and sent it out against the 
Romans. When Germanos heard this he was terrified but, having no 
c nice, joined battle. Although he was wounded in the fighting his 
guardsmen got him safely to Constantina. The Romans were defeated 
and on the eleventh day Germanos died. 

5. Of the gods. 

6. The head of the diocese of Egypt. Most leaders of dioceses were 

V ’ CarS; Bgypt ’ s gOV 7 nor ke Pt the older title, which had existed since 
Octavianannexed Egypt to the Empire m 30 b.c. The province, which would 
me in ater years the breadbasket of Constantinople, was virtually the 
P " Va * don,a, n of the Emperors during the early Empire, and was ruled^y a 
special imperial appointee. ' 

7. Chief officer of the palace. 

466 orM? e The, Ubit ° reS "T 3 u™ ° f palaCe gUards established by Leo I in 
4bb or 467. Their commander, the count, was a powerful officer; two counts 

W8 »d"M,;“cT in ssT V b ' Ca "' e Empe ™ r " Tib ™ 11 C ~“” i" 
0. These are the regnal years of, respectively, the Emperor the Persian 
king (whose place will later be taken by the Arab caliph), and the patriarchs 
of Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch. When Theonhanes 

E “™' hi * ■»»* on* 

10 - D f urin & the reign of Justinian I (527-565) the consulship became too 

After TuItinL^s'r Pr ' Vate C ° h ° ld; the laSt l ° do 80 was BasiIius ^ 541. 
of foreign C,gn ’ Emper0r assumed the consulship in the first year 



Thinking to keep the Avars quiet, Phokas strengthened his treaties 
with the Khagan 11 and transferred his forces from Europe to Asia. He 
divided his forces, sending some against the Persians and the rest to 
besiege Narses at Edessa. The eunuch Leontios was Phokas’ leading 
officer. Narses left Edessa and fled to Hierapolis. 

I Khosroes arrived at Arxamoun at the same time as the Romans; 

he began the battle by assaulting the fortress with elephants, and won 
i a great victory. He took many Romans alive and then put them to 

death. After doing this Khosroes returned to his own country, leaving 
behind a force under Zonggoes. When Phokas learned this he became 

I insanely angry at Leontios and brought him in disgrace to Byzantium 
in irons. He appointed his brother Domentziolos general, and also 
made him curopalates. 12 

ANNUS MUNDI 6097 (SEPTEMBER 1, 604— AUGUST 31, 605) 

3. 17. 11. 5. 26. 5. 

In this year Khosroes sent out Kardarigas and Rousmiazas, who 
i plundered manyRoman cities. Domentziolos gave Narses a pledge and 
persuaded him with many oaths that he would not suffer a single 
293 unjust act from Phokas, then sent him off free to Phokas. But Phokas 
did not keep his word; he burned Narses alive. Since Narses had caused 
j the Persians such great fear that Persian children shivered when they 

heard his name, the Romans were greatly distressed at his death, but 
the Persians joyfully exulted. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6098 (SEPTEMBER 1, 605— AUGUST 31, 606) 

Bishop of Constantinople Thomas: 3 years 

4. 18. 1. 6. 27. 6. 

In this year a scholastic 13 eunuch, a man of high repute in the 
palace, took the Empress Constantina and her three daughters in the 
middle of the night and fled to the great church. 14 He did so at the 
advice of the patrician 15 Germanos, who was grasping at imperial 
power. A great deal of factional strife ensued in the city because of 

II. The ruler of the Avars. 

12. A high title first borne byjustin II (Emperor 565-578), the office of 
curopalates ranked below that of Caesar. It carried some presumption of 
heirship, especially if the reigning Emperor had no sons. 

13. That is to say, a eunuch with legal training. 

14. The church of Hagia Sophia. 

15. In the Roman Republic, the patricians made up an hereditary aristoc- 
racy. Under Constantine I (306-337) the largely moribund title was revived 
and given to individuals as an honorific. 




this action. The Greens 16 banded together at the Kokhlias 17 to revile 
Constantina. Germanos sent a talent of gold to the leader of the 
Greens to gain their cooperation, but the deme’s leadership did not 
accept it. 

The tyrant sent men to the church to drag away the women. But 
the patriarch Kynakos opposed him and would not permit the women 
lawlessly to be dragged from the church. When Phokas had assured 
him he would not treat them unjustly, they were led from the holy 
precinct and shut up in a monastery. Phokas tonsured Germanos, 
made him a priest, and put him under house arrest. At that time 
Philippikos was also deprived of his hair; he took holy orders and lived 
in the monastery he had built at Chrysopolis. 

In this year the Persians captured Daras and all Mesopotamia and 
Syria, taking innumerable prisoners. 

After the patriarch Kyriakos died, Thomas, who was deacon and 
sakellarios 18 of the great church, was chosen in his place on Octo- 
ber 11. 

294 ANNUS MUNDI 6099 (SEPTEMBER 1, 606— AUGUST 31, 607) 
a.d. 599 

Roman Emperor Phokas: 7 years: year 5 
Persian King Khosroes: 39 years: year 19 
Bishop of Constantinople Thomas: 3 years: year 2 
Bishop of Jerusalem Isaac: 8 years: year 7 

16. Much ingenuity has been expended on the Byzantine Empire’s circus 
tections, the Greens and Blues and their less prominent rivals the Whites and 
Reds. As Alan Cameron has shown in an important new study, Circus Factions- 
Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium (Oxford, 1976), much of this has been 
wasted effort. Their apparent rise to importance in the fifth century resulted 
from an amalgamation of public entertainments, joining the previously mild 
racing fans with the boisterous followers of the theater, but under the names 
ot the former s identifying colors. This caused formerly anonymous acts of 
rowdyism to become the hallmark of the “new” Greens and Blues. Moreover, 
the hippodrome now saw introduced the systematic applause and ceremonial 
responses formerly used only in the theater. This made the public element of 
the factions (as opposed to the government-sponsored groups which actually 
put on the races) an important ceremonial part of the court; as they became 
more responsible they rioted less, though they remained influential because 
of their part in the imperial coronation ceremonies and— by extension— their 
ability to proclaim usurpers. Their political and military roles (as well as their 
influence on imperial policy) appear to have been greatly exaggerated; Cam- 
eron compares them to the riotous fans at British soccer matches. 

17. The Kokhlias is the spiral staircase through which the Emperor 
entered the hippodrome. 

18. Keeper of the purse. 

Bishop of Alexandria Theodore: 2 years: year 1 
Bishop of Antioch Anastasios: 9 years: year 7 

In this year the tyrant Phokas married his daughter Domentzia to 
Priskos the patrician, who was also count of the excubitores; the wed- 
ding was held in the palace of the descendants of Marine. ’ 

Phokas ordered horse-races held. 19 The leaders of the two fac- 
tions erected images of Priskos and Domentzia with the imperial por- 
traits on a four-columned monument. When he saw this, the Emperor 
| became angry. He sent out men who brought back Theophanes and 

I Pamphilos (the leaders of the factions). He stood them naked on the 
stama 20 and ordered them executed. First, though, he sent his chief 
courier to ask them what had prompted them to do this. They said that 
the artists had followed custom in doing it. The members of the fac- 
tions were shouting, “Many years for the merciful Emperor!” The 
artists were asked why they had done it. They said, “Everyone called 
them children of the Emperor; we did it for their sake.” Since the 
masses were crying for him to have mercy on the leaders of the demes, 
the Emperoi acquiesced. Priskos was terrified by the Emperor’s anger; 

| later he became angry himself, and from then on was not in agreement 
| with Phokas. 

The Empress Constantina had a serving-wench named Petronia, 

I who, instead of being a body-servant, brought messages from Con- 
stantina to Germanos. When the rumor spread that Maurice’s son 
Theodosios was alive, both Constantina and Germanos had high 
hopes because of it. But the impious Petronia revealed this to the 
295 tyrant. He gave Constantina to the prefect Theopemptos for torture. 
As a result of the torture, she confessed that the patrician Romanos 
■ knew of what had been said between herself and Germanos. He was 
seized and interrogated, and agreed there were others cooperating 
with him in a plot against the tyrant. The praetorian prefect of the 
east 21 Theodore was also arrested; the tyrant beat him to death with 
rawhide straps. He cut off Elpidios’ hands and feet and burned him 
alive, and decapitated Romanos. He put Constantina and her three 
daughters to the sword at the mole of Eutropios, where Maurice had 
also been killed. He also put to the sword Germanos and his daughter 

19. In celebration. 

20. The station of the imperial guards in the hippodrome, just below the 
Emperor’s seat. 

2 1 . In the administrative system evolved by Diocletian and Constantine, 
the praetorian prefect of the east was the chief administrative officer for Egypt, 
Syria, Palestine, Asia Minor, and Thrace: the highest-ranking official in the 
Byzantine Empire s early years. The office (along with much of the territory) 
would disappear in the chaotic seventh century, though surviving as a sinecure 
at least until 680. 




on the Prince’s Island, 22 and executed in the same way John, Tzitas, 
Patrikios, Theodosios (who held the rank of soubadioubas 23 ), Andrew 
Skombros, and David the chartophylax 24 of the monastery of Hormis- 

In the same year the Persians crossed the Euphrates, took prison- 
ers throughout Syria, Palestine, and Phoenicia, and did great damage 
to the Romans. & 

ANNUS MUNDI 6100 (SEPTEMBER 1, 607— AUGUST 31, 608) 
A.D. 600 

Roman Emperor Phokas: 7 years: year 6 
Persian King Khosroes: 39 years: year 20 
Bishop of Constantinople Thomas: 3 years: year 3 
Bishop of Jerusalem Isaac: 8 years: year 8 
Bishop of Alexandria Theodore: 2 years: year 2 
Bishop of Antioch Anastasios: 9 years: year 8 

In this year Priskos, no longer able to stand seeing the unjust 
murders and evils worked by Phokas, wrote to the patrician and master 
of soldiers of Africa Herakleios that he should send his son Herakleios 
and Niketas (the son of his lieutenant-general, the patrician Gregoras) 
296 to oppose the tyrant. For Priskos had heard that rebellion against 
Phokas was being planned in Africa. For this reason, ships sailed from 
Africa at that time. Phokas mercilessly killed all the relatives of Mau- 
rice, Komentiolos the master of soldiers of Thrace, and many others. 
At this time there was a plague and misfortunes of every sort. 

The Persians under Kardarigas sallied forth and took Armenia 
and Kappadokia; they routed the Roman armies they attacked. They 
took Galatia and Paphlagonia and advanced all the way to Chalcedon, 
ravaging every age group. The Persians outside the city 23 tyrannized 
the Romans, but Phokas, murdering and making arrests within it did 
worse things than they. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6101 (SEPTEMBER 1, 608— AUGUST 31, 609) 

Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years 
Bishop of Jerusalem Zachariah: 22 years 

22. One of several small islands in the Sea of Marmora, off the Asian 
coast southeast of Constantinople. 

23. An assistant or bodyguard. 

24. Archivist. 

city ” 25 Constantlno P Ie is ver >' often referred to by Byzantine authors as “ the 



I Bishop of Alexandria John: 10 years 

6101. 601. 7. 21. 1. 1. 1. 9. 2e 

In this year the Antiochene Hebrews went out of control and 
revolted against the Christians. They slaughtered Anastasios, the great 
patriarch of Antioch: they hurled his genitals into his face, then 

I dragged him into the Mese and murdered him and many landowners. 

Then they burned their bodies. Phokas appointed Bonosos count of 
the east and Kottanas general and sent them against the Hebrews, but 
they were unable to quell their rebellion. The Hebrews gathered to- 
gether an army, attacked them, killed and mutilated many of their men, 
and drove them away from the city. 

Phokas held horse-races, and the Greens reviled him: “You are 
drunk again, and long ago lost your mind.” Phokas relied on the city 
prefect 27 Kosmas. The prefect mutilated many people and hung their 
| 297 members in the Sphendone. 28 He decapitated others, and still others 
he shut up in sacks, flung into the sea, and drowned. The Greens 
gathered together and set fire to the Praitorion. 29 They burned its 
offices, archives, and jail, whose inmates got out and fled. Phokas was 
i enraged and ordered the Greens no longer to meddle in politics. 

Since the senate had begged him to do so, Herakleios the master 
of soldiers of Africa armed his son and loosed him against the tyrant 
Phokas. Likewise, his lieutenant-general Gregoras sent out his son 
Niketas by dry land; 30 whichever one of them got to Constantinople 
first and conquered the tyrant would become Emperor. 

In the same year the winter was very harsh, so that the sea froze, 
j Also, a great fish was cast forth at that time. 

When he learned that Makrobios the commander of his body- 
guard had been part of a plot against him, Phokas ordered him shot 
to death in the marketplace. His body was hung on a spear at the castle 

26. Although Theophanes shows a regnal year for the patriarch of Anti- 
och here, after the death of Anastasios it will be many years before he knows 
the name of that city’s bishop. 

27. The city prefect was the officer who administered Constantinople; 
j he was responsible for maintaining law and order, the courts, keeping the city 

supplied with food, and controlling its trade and industry. The importance of 
the position is shown by the fact that the Byzantines themselves termed the 
prefect “the city’s father,” and said that his office was imperial in dignity, 
except that it did not entitle him to wear the purple. 

28. The semicircular southern portion of the hippodrome. 

29. Located not far west of the imperial palaces, the Praitorion was the 
main government office building in Constantinople. It housed the office of the 
praetor (or minister of justice), was the repository for government records, 
and also contained a prison. 

30. Not all the way to Constantinople by land, but to Egypt to gather 
troops to aid the rebellion. 



of the Theodosianoi in Hebdomon. 31 Theodore the governor of Kap- 
padokia and Elpidios the commander of the arsenal had formed this 
plot to kill Phokas during the games. Theodore the praetorian prefect 
held a breakfast and began to reveal his plan to the others. Now it 
happened that Anastasios the count of the sacred largess 32 was there. 
After the breakfast was done and Theodore was explaining how the 
plot would work, Anastasios regretted his presence. He did not speak 
from his heart, but kept silent. 

Elpidios promised to give them arms, then went right on, “Do you 
not want me to seize him while he is sitting on his throne during the 
games, blind him, and kill him?” After Anastasios betrayed the plot to 
Phokas, the Emperor ordered the governor, Elpidios, and the nobles 
who knew of the plot examined most thoroughly. On examination, 
298 they deposed the details of the plot, and also their desire to make 
Theodore Emperor. Phokas ordered Theodore, Elpidios, Anastasios, 
and everyone who had known of their plot decapitated. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6102 (SEPTEMBER 1, 610— AUGUST 31, 611) 33 
a.d. 602 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 1 
Persian King Khosroes: 39 years: year 22 
Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 2 
Bishop of Jerusalem Zachariah: 22 years: year 2 
Bishop of Alexandria John: 10 years: year 2 

In this year — the fourteenth indiction — on October 4, a Monday, 
Elerakleios arrived from Africa with his towered ships. As George of 
Pisidia 34 says, they had reliquaries and icons of the Mother of God on 
their masts and carried a large army from Africa and Mauretania. At 
the same time Niketas the son of the patrician Gregoras arrived from 
Alexandria and Pentapolis with a large infantry force. 

Now at this time Herakleios was engaged to Eudokia (the daughter 
of Rhogas son of Aphros), who was in Constantinople with Herakleios’ 

31. Hebdomon is a European suburb of Constantinople, a little more 
than two miles southwest of the city on the shore of the Propontis. 

32. The chief official of the treasury; the office would soon be replaced 
by an imperial sakellarios. 

33. See the discussion of chronology in the introduction, p. xviii. 

34. A Byzantine poet who composed epics celebrating the triumphs of 
Herakleios, and a contemporary of that Emperor. His work, which is still 
extant, was an important source for Theophanes. The Byzantines esteemed 
George of Pisidia highly, ranking him with Euripides; modern taste does not 
raise him to such prominence. 


mother Epiphaneia. When Phokas heard that Herakleios’ mother and 
his fiancee Eudokia were in the city, he seized them and kept them 
under guard in the imperial monastery, which is called the New Re- 

When he came to Abydos, Herakleios met its count Theodore and 
learned from him what was afoot in Constantinople. Phokas had sent 
his brother Domentziolosto guard the Long Walls. 35 When he learned 
Herakleios had reached Abydos, he abandoned the Walls and fled into 
299 Constantinople. In Abydos Herakleios received all the nobles Phokas 
had exiled, and went up to Herakleia with them. Stephen the metropol- 
itan of Kyzikos took a diadem from the church of the holy Mother of 
God of Artake and brought it to Herakleios. 

When Herakleios reached Constantinople he attacked the harbor 
of Sophia. By the grace of God, when battle was joined he defeated the 
tyrant Phokas. The people seized Phokas and killed him, burning him 
to death in the Forum of the Ox. 36 Herakleios entered the palaces and 
was crowned by Sergios in the oratory of St. Stephen there. On the 
same day his fiancee Eudokia was crowned Augusta, and they both 
received the crowns of marriage 37 from patriarch Sergios. Herakleios 
was revealed as autokrator and bridegroom on the same day. 

In May the Persians campaigned against Syria, took Apamea and 
Edessa, and advanced as far as Antioch. The Romans met them, 
fought, and were beaten. The whole Roman army was destroyed, so 
that very few men got away. 

On July 7 of the same indiction Epiphaneia the daughter of 
Eudokia was born to the Emperor, and was baptized on August 15 at 
Blakhernai 38 by patriarch Sergios. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6103 (SEPTEMBER 1, 611— AUGUST 31, 612) 
a.d. 603 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 3 1 years : year 2 
Persian King Khosroes: 39 years: year 23 

35. Erected by Anastasios I (491-518), these outwalls ran from the Sea 
of Marmora to the Black Sea about forty miles west of Constantinople. They 
consisted of an unditched stone wall about eleven feet thick, with round towers 
at intervals projecting about thirty feet in front. 

36. A square located on Constantinople’s main street, about halfway 
between Hagia Sophia and the Golden Gate. 

37. The “crowns of marriage” are actually wreaths placed on the heads 
of the bride and groom in an Orthodox wedding. During the most solemn part 
of the ceremony, the couple’s godparents hold the wreaths. 

38. The extreme northwestern district of Constantinople, in which there 
was a secondary imperial palace. 



the chronicle of theophanes 

Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 3 
Bishop of Jerusalem Zachariah: 22 years: year 3 
Bishop of Alexandria John: 10 years: year 3 

In this year the Persians captured Kappadokian Caesarea, taking 
~ nn R CnS ° f th ° USand f of Prisoners. The Emperor Herakleios found the 
Oman state had become exhausted. The Avars were devastating 
hi rope and the Persians had trampled on Asia, captured its cities, and 

nrohlT u' 1 "" 0 army m thdr battIes - As he examined these 

problems, Herakleios was at a loss as to what he could do. For when 

e inves tigated the army to see if there were any survivors from among 
those who had campaigned with Phokas during his rebellion against 
Maurice he found only two among all the detachments. 39 

n the same year— the fifteenth indiction— on May 3, a son little 
Herakleios (also called young Constantine) was born to the Emperor 

Eudokt Se?" H ° f thC SamC fiftCenth mdiCti ° n the Au ^ ,Sta 

ANNUS MUNDI 6104 (SEPTEMBER 1, 612-AUGUST 31 613) 

3. 24. 4. 4. 4. 

In this year— the first indiction— on October 4 Herakleios’ daugh- 
er Epiphaneia was crowned Augusta by the patriarch Sergios in the 

mdcZnH u P n m th u PaIaCe ' ° n December 25 in the same first 
diction Herakleios son the young Herakleios (also called Constan- 
tine) was crowned by the patriarch Sergios. 

lerm * e Carlie f recorde d use of the important Byzantine technical 

term theme ’ here translated as “detachment.” Theophanes uses the term 
several times during Herakleios’ reign, but it is anachronistic when applied to 

AnatSj Am? ?? T* ° f the f ° Ur ori S inal themes Asia MinSr-the 

Anatolies, Anneniacs, Thrakesians, and Opsikion— came into being long be 

fore the Persian and Arab crises of the first half of the seventh century whose 
vicissitudes pushed them back into the locations they occupied thereafter In 

rr" 1 “, d e ; shth cemuries ihe 

tftemes gradually took over the functions of the civilian provincial administra- 
a^the'a t h eir districts, so that the word “theme” came to mean a proven?™ wdl 

? J C °rT quartered m il: • Moreover, the thematic troops settled on the 

countryside of Asia Minor, and they and their descendants made most of their 
livings from these lands rather than from wages paid by the central government 

fo land ‘ 0 g P ?T try ~ b ° th tHat Part liable to m > lkar y service in exchange 

for land tenure and the portion that was not-formed the basis of Byzandne 

!? ial \u COn ° m - C ’ Tu d milUary stren S th from the late seventh through the 

ers^^muali? r u?eTd e ? rnP,r h W ° Uld ? badly weakened when large landown- 
the peasant™ ?„??? «« subverting the system and gaining dominance over 
tne peasantry from the central government, though it must be admitted that 
when faced with the harsh demands of the imperial tax collectors ™ peas! 

neighbors 7 pr ° teCt, ° n from them at the ha nds of their more affluent 


the chronicle of theophanes 

j In the same year the Saracens campaigned against Syria; they 

withdrew after they had plundered a number of villages. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6105 (SEPTEMBER 1, 613— AUGUST 31, 614) 

4. 23. 3. 3. 3. 

] In this year the Persians captured Damascus, taking many prison- 

I ers. The Emperor Herakleios sent envoys to Khosroes to stop the 

' merciless bloodshed, set the payment of tribute, and obtain treaties. 

But Khosroes sent the ambassadors away unsuccessful. He held no 
discussions with them, since he hoped totally to conquer the Roman 
I Empire. 

In the same year Herakleios married Martina 40 and proclaimed 
her Augusta, crowning her in the Augusteion 41 (she was crowned by 
patriarch Sergios). 

ANNUS MUNDI 6106 (SEPTEMBER 1, 614— AUGUST 31, 615) 

3. 26. 6. 6. 6. 

j In this year the Persians took Jordan, Palestine, and its holy city 

| 301 in battle. At the hands of the Jews they killed many people in it: as some 
say, 90,000. Thejews, according to their means, bought the Christians 
and then killed them. The Persians captured and led off to Persia 
Zachariah the patriarch of Jerusalem, the precious and lifegiving 
wood, 42 and many prisoners. 

In the same year another Constantine was born to the Emperor 
of Martina; the patriarch Sergios baptized him at Blakhernai. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6107 (SEPTEMBER 1, 615— AUGUST 31, 616) 

6. 27. 7. 7. 7. 

In this year the Persians captured all Egypt, up to Ethiopia, Alex- 
andria, and Libya. They took many prisoners and a great amount of 
booty, then withdrew. They were not able to take Carthage, 43 but 
withdrew after leaving behind a garrison to besiege it. 

40. Martina was also Herakleios’ niece; their union was perceived in 
many circles as incestuous. 

41. A reception hall in the square which had been the civic center of 
Byzantium before it became Constantinople. The Augusteion was now sur- 
rounded by Hagia Sophia, the senate house, and the imperial palace. 

42. I.e., a fragment of the True Cross on which Christ was crucified. 

43. There is no evidence of this whatever; it appears to be a copyist’s 
error for Chalcedon. In Greek the two are quite similar (Kapx^Stiiv vs. Ka\- 

1 1 


ANNUS MUNDI 6108 (SEPTEMBER 1, 616— AUGUST 31, 617) 

7. 28. 8. 8. 8. 

In this year the Persians attacked Carthage 43 and took it in battle. 
In the same year — the fifth indiction — on January 1 young Con- 
stantine (also called Herakleios) the son of Herakleios became consul. 
He appointed his brother little Constantine (who had been born of 
Herakleios and Martina) Caesar. 44 

ANNUS MUNDI 6109 (SEPTEMBER 1, 617— AUGUST 31, 618) 

8. 29. 9. 9. 9. 

In this year Herakleios again sent ambassadors requesting peace 
to Khosroes in Persia. But Khosroes sent them away once more, say- 
ing, “I will have no mercy on you until you renounce him who was 
crucified and worship the sun.” 

ANNUS MUNDI 6110 (SEPTEMBER 1, 618— AUGUST 31, 619) 

9. 30. 10. 10. 10. 

In this year the Avars attacked Thrace. Herakleios sent envoys to 
them to ask for peace, and when the Khagan agreed to this, the Em- 
peror went outside the Long Walls with the entire imperial bodyguard. 
He promised the Khagan many great gifts, and got pledges from him 
that they would make peace with each other. But the barbarian set 
aside his agreements and oaths, suddenly and treacherously advancing 
against the Emperor. Herakleios was thunderstruck at this unexpected 
302 affair, and fled to the city. The barbarian captured the imperial gear 
and bodyguard and whatever else he could reach, then withdrew, 
plundering many villages in Thrace thanks to his having unexpectedly 
cheated the hopes of peace. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6111 (SEPTEMBER 1, 619— AUGUST 31, 620) 
A.D. 611 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 10 
Persian King Khosroes: 39 years: year 31 
Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 11 
Bishop of Jerusalem Zachariah: 22 years: year 1 1 
Bishop of Alexandria George: 14 years: year 1 

In this year Herakleios sent envoys to the Avar Khagan. He con- 
demned him for his lawless actions and urged him toward peace. For, 

44. This title is restricted to the imperial family, and designates potential 
heirs to the throne. 


as he planned to campaign against Persia, Herakleios wanted to make 
peace with the Khagan. The Khagan was impressed by the Emperor’s 
benevolence; he alleged that he had reformed and promised to make 
peace. The envoys arranged the terms and returned in peace. 

In the same year the Persians took Galatian Ankyra in battle. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6112 (SEPTEMBER 1, 620— AUGUST 31, 621) 

11. 32. 12. 12. 2. 

In this year Khosroes, thirsty for blood and tribute, hardened his 
heart and put his yoke over every man. He was exalted by his victories 
and could no longer remain calm. Therefore Herakleios, who had 
assumed divine zeal and made peace with the Avars (as he thought), 
transferred his European armies to Asia and, with God’s help, planned 
to march on Persia. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6113 (SEPTEMBER 1, 621— AUGUST 31, 622) 

12. 33. 13. 13. 3. 

In this year — the tenth indiction — on April 4 the Emperor Hera- 
kleios finished celebrating Easter and at once moved against Persia: 
303 he did so on Monday evening. He took the money of the pious houses 
as a loan; because poverty compelled him, he even took the candelabra 
and other suitable equipment from the great church, and minted a 
great number of nomismata and miliaresia. 45 To manage affairs in 
Constantinople, he left behind his own son, the patriarch Sergios, 
and the patrician Bonosos (a prudent, intelligent, and ready man). 
Herakleios also wrote to the Avar Khagan, calling on him to be an 
ally since they had made peace and naming him the guardian of his 

After he left the imperial city, he sailed to the “Gates.” 46 When 
he had reached the lands of the themes, he assembled his troops and 
added new forces to them. He began to train them and thoroughly 
instruct them in the art of war. He divided his army into two battle- 
lines and ordered them to engage each other without bloodshed. He 
taught them to maintain warlike cries, shouts, and paeans so that in 

45. The nomisma (plural, nomismata) is the standard Byzantine gold- 
piece, coined at the rate of seventy-two to the pound. Its purity is, with rare 
exceptions, maintained from its introduction during the reign of Constantine 
I to the early eleventh century. The miliaresion, the Byzantine silver coin, has 
a value of one twelfth of a nomisma. 

46. These are the Kilikian Gates, the passes through the Taurus moun- 
tains in southeastern Asia Minor, the mountains which separate Asia Minor 
and Syria. 




battle they would not be caught by surprise, but would take courage 
and march against their foes as into a game. 

The Emperor took into his hand an image of the God-man (which 
hands did not paint, but which, just as He was conceived without 
semen, the W ord which formed and shaped everything created without 
painting). Putting his faith in the God-limned image, he began his 
struggles. He promised the army that he would struggle along with 
them until death and treat them like his own children. For he did not 
want his power to be that of fear, but of love. 

He found that the army was lazy, cowardly, disorderly, and undis- 
ciplined, and also that it had been widely dispersed. He immediately 
collected it all into one place. As with one voice, everyone hymned the 
Emperor’s might and courage. He addressed them with words de- 
signed to stir their bravery: “Brothers and children, you see that God’s 
enemies have overrun our land, laid waste our cities, burned our 

304 altars, and filled the tables of bloodless sacrifice with bloody murders. 
They take great pleasure in defiling our churches, which should not 

Once more he armed the army for training, forming two armed 
lines of battle. The men stood in their armor; there were trumpet- 
calls and phalanxes of shields. After the regiments were well orga- 
nized, he ordered them to engage each other: there were violent 
struggles and conflicts between them, and the appearance of warfare. 
It was like seeing the horrible, fearful spectacle without its danger, or 
men converging for murder without bloodshed, or the methods of 
force before force itself. Thus each man got a start from this danger- 
less slaughter and was more secure thereafter. After Herakleios had 
armed everyone, he ordered them to abstain from injustice and 
cleave to piety. 

When he came to the districts of Armenia he ordered some select 
men to scout ahead. A host of Saracen cavalry who were tributary to 
the Persians intended to ambush the Emperor. His scouts met them 
and brought their general back in bonds to Herakleios; they had 
routed the Saracens and killed many of them. When winter came, the 
Emperor moved to the vicinity of the Black Sea, and the barbarians 
thought it a good idea to besiege him while he was wintering there. But 
he escaped the Persians, turned round, and invaded their land. This 
surprise invasion startled the barbarians when they learned of it. 

The Persian general Sarbaros took his forces to Kilikia in order to 
enter Roman territory and overthrow the Emperor. He was afraid lest 
the Emperor, who had invaded Persia through Armenia, should throw 
it into chaos, but he did not have any definite idea of what to do. He 

305 was compelled to follow the Roman army; he was thinking about steal- 
ing a victory by taking the Romans during the lightless night. But since 


the night was that of the full moon, he was dissuaded from his plan and 
cursed the moon he had formerly worshiped because it did not set until 
the night was done. Because of that, Sarbaros was too cowardly to 
attack the Emperor. Like deer, Sarbaros’ army came to the mountains 
and from their heights saw the Romans’ crisp maneuvers and sound 

The Emperor, knowing of Sarbaros’ cowardice, was confident and 
camped restfully in a cramped space. This roused Sarbaros to battle. 
He stealthily came down from his mountain to make many small-scale 
attacks, but the Romans won all of them. Their army became more 
courageous when it saw the Emperor leaping forward everywhere and 
fighting daringly. Now there was a Persian refugee who a little while 
before had been enrolled in the Emperor’s army. He deserted to the 
Persians, expecting them to destroy the Roman force. But he saw their 
cowardice, and after ten days went back to the Emperor and told him 
in great detail of the barbarians’ low morale. 

Sarbaros could no longer stand wasting time in the mountains and 
was forced to move to the attack. Readying his army for battle, he 
divided it into three parts and suddenly came down just at dawn, 
before sunrise. The Emperor had anticipated him and arranged his 
own army into three phalanxes; now he led it into battle. He had the 
easterly position, and when the sun rose its rays blinded the Persians; 
they had worshiped it as a god. The Emperor turned his army in a 
feigned flight, and the Persians broke ranks in their hot pursuit. Then 
the Romans courageously wheeled round and put them to rout, killing 
many. They drove them to the cliffs, forced them into badlands, and 
crushed them. The Persians went about on the crags like wild goats. 

306 Many were also taken alive. 

The Romans captured their camp and all their gear. They raised 
their hands on high and thanked God; they also eagerly prayed for the 
Emperor, who had led them well. For before they had never thought 
to see Persian dust; now they had found and plundered their still- 
pitched tents. Who could have expected the invincible Persian race 
ever to show its back to the Romans? The Emperor left the army in 
Armenia under a general, while he returned to winter in Byzantium. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6114 (SEPTEMBER 1, 622— AUGUST 31, 623) 
A.D. 614 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 13 
Persian King Khosroes: 39 years: year 35 [sic] 

Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 14 




Bishop of Jerusalem Zachariah: 22 years: year 14 
Bishop of Alexandria George: 14 years: year 4 

In this year — the eleventh indiction — on March 15 the Emperor 
Herakleios left the imperial city and quickly came to Armenia. The 
Persian king dispatched Sarbarazas’ 47 army into Roman territory. 
Herakleios wrote to Khosroes that either he should espouse peace or 
the Emperor would invade Persia with his army. But Khosroes neither 
espoused peace nor believed the statement that Herakleios would dare 
approach Persia. 

On April 20 the Emperor invaded Persia, and when Khosroes 
learned this he ordered Sarbarazas to withdraw. lie assembled his own 
forces from all over Persia and gave them to Sain, ordering these 
307 forces to join Sarbarazas quickly and, thus united, move against the 

Herakleios summoned his army and roused it with this oration: 
“Brothers, let us keep in mind the fear of God and struggle to avenge 
insults to Him. Let us nobly oppose our enemies, who have done many 
terrible things to Christians. Let us respect the independent Roman 
state; let us resist our enemies, who are impiously in arms, and let us 
pledge murder for their murders. Let us consider that we are within 
Persian territory and that flight bears great danger. Let us avenge the 
ravishing of our maidens; when we see our soldiers’ mutilated mem- 
bers, our hearts must be distressed. Our danger is not without reward, 
but is the harbinger of eternal life. Let us bravely take our stand— the 
Lord God will work with us, and will destroy our foes.” 

After the Emperor had exhorted the army with these and many 
other ideas, one man who spoke for all answered him: “You have 
opened our hearts, master, by opening your mouth in exhortation. 
Your words have stirred us. We blush when we see you going to the 
fore during battle, and will follow you in all you command.” 

The Emperor took up his army and at once advanced into the 
Persian heartland, burning its cities and villages. Then a miracle oc- 
curred: the air became humid in summer, refreshing the Romans 
and raising their spirits. When Herakleios heard that Khosroes was 
in the city of Gazakon with 40,000 warlike men, he hastened against 
him, sending some of his Saracens ahead to scout. They met 
Khosroes’ guard-force, slew some, and bound the rest (including 
their general) and brought them to the Emperor. Khosroes fled 
when he learned of this, abandoning the city and his army. Hera- 
kleios, who was in pursuit, slew some as he arrived; the rest dis- 

47. Sarbarazas is the same person as the Persian general Sarbaros re- 
ferred to earlier. 


j 208 persed and fled. When he reached the city of the Gazacenes, he rested 
his army in its suburbs. 

j The fugitive Persians told him Khosroes had burned all the crops 

in the area and gone to the city of Thebarmai's in the east. In it were 
a fire-temple 48 and the treasures of the Lydian king Kroisos, 49 and also 
the deceit of the coals. Khosroes took them and marched to Dastigerd. 
The Emperor left Gazakon and reached Thebarmai's. He entered it, 
burned the fire-temple and the whole city, then followed Khosroes 
through the passes of the land of the Medes: Khosroes was moving 
from place to place in the rugged territory. Herakleios pursued him, 
sacking many cities and villages. 

Since winter was coming, he held a council with his army as to 
where to spend it. Some said in Albania, others said in the same place 
Khosroes did. The Emperor ordered the army purified for three days. 
Then he opened God’s gospels and found on referring to them that 
he should winter in Albania. 50 In the midst of his journey Persian 
armies attacked him even though he had not a few Persian prisoners; 
with God’s help he beat them all. Although winter and icy cold assailed 
him on the journey, he arrived in Albania with 50,000 prisoners. Out 
of the goodness of his heart he took pity on them and freed them from 
their bonds, cared for them, and let them rest. They all acclaimed him 
in tears as the savior of Persia, who would kill Khosroes, the universal 

ANNUS MUNDI 6115 (SEPTEMBER 1, 623— AUGUST 31, 624) 

14. 36. 15. 15. 5. 

In this year the Persian king Khosroes appointed as general Sara- 
blangas, a vigorous man, but arrogant and conceited. As an army he 
309 gave him the so-called Khosroegetai and Perozitai, 51 then sent him to 
oppose Herakleios in Albania. He penetrated the Albanian highlands 
but did not have the courage to meet the Emperor face to face in battle. 
Instead, he held the passes leading to Persia, thinking to waylay him. 

48. The Persian Zoroastrians venerated fire as well as the sun. They 
deemed it a symbol of the good god Ahura Mazda, the deity who in their 
dualistic system was opposed by Ahriman. 

49. Kroisos the king of Lydia (in western Asia Minor) was conquered by 
the Achaemenid Persian king Cyrus in 546 b.c.; his wealth was proverbial. It 
is, to say the least, highly unlikely that this treasure was once his. 

50. The sortes biblicae, a method of divination where a question was asked 
and the Bible then opened at random to find the answer. The Albania in 
question is in the Caucasus, not the Balkans. 

51. As these units are named for Persian kings, they are presumably 
crack regiments of the Persian forces. 


l 7 


But at the start of spring Herakleios left Albania by taking a side-road 
into Persia through thriving plains full of victuals, even if it was a great 
deal out of his way. Sarablangas drove through the passes (as this was 
the short way) to get ahead of him on Persian territory. 

Herakleios addressed his army: “Brothers, we know that the Per- 
sians’ army has been wandering in rugged land; they have exhausted 
their horses, and hamstrung them, too. We should try to hurry against 
hosroes, so as to confuse him by falling upon him unexpectedly.” But 
t e army (especially the Lazikan, Abasgian, and Iberian allies) advised 
him not to do this. 

This had an unfortunate result. Sarbarazas was also arriving with 
his army, which Khosroes had powerfully equipped and sent against 
Herakleios by way of Armenia. Sarablangas had followed Herakleios 
but would not engage him; he was expecting to join Sarbarazas and 
t en start battle. When they learned Sarbarazas had arrived the Ro- 
mans became afraid and fell in tears at the feet of the Emperor, repent- 
ing of the evils which had occurred because of their disobedience. 
They realized how wicked it was for a servant not to yield to his 
master’s plans. They said, “Your hand, master, before you destroy us 
wretches: for we will follow you in whatever you order.” 

Then the Emperor hurried to engage Sarablangas before he could 
join Sarbarazas. He attacked him repeatedly, by night and day, and 
made him afraid. After getting ahead of both Persian generals he 
eagerly moved against Khosroes. 

Two Romans who deserted to the Persians persuaded them the 
c-m *°™ ans were fleein fl out of cowardice. Another rumor also reached 
dl 0 the Persians: that their general Sain had arrived with another army to 
elp them. When Sarablangas and Sarbarazas heard this, they both 
struggled to bring Herakleios to battle before Sain could arrive and 
take the credit for the victory for himself. Also, they believed the 
deserters. They marched against Herakleios and camped near him, 
wanting to attack at dawn. But Herakleios left at nightfall and traveled 
all night long. When he was a good way away from them, he camped 
in a verdant plain. The barbarians thought he had fled from cowardice 
and drove on in a disorderly fashion to overtake him. But he met them 
and joined battle with them, mustering his army at a wooded hill. With 
God s help, he routed the barbarians. He chased them through gullies 
and killed a large number; even Sarablangas fell, struck in the back 
with a sword. 

In the middle of these struggles Sain and his army arrived. The 
mperor routed him too, killed many of his troops, and captured their 
aggage-train. Sarbarazas joined SaYn and assembled the surviving 
barbarians; they planned to move against Herakleios once more. 

The Emperor marched through country rough and difficult to 



traverse to the country of the Huns and their badlands; the barbarians 
followed him. The Lazikans and Abasgians became afraid, detached 
themselves from their Roman alliance, and returned to their own 
country. Pleased at this, Sain and Sarbaros angrily marched after Hera- 

The Emperor assembled his army and encouraged and exhorted 
them. He readied them by saying, “Brothers, do not be troubled by 
your enemies’ numbers for, God willing, one will chase thousands. 52 
Let us sacrifice ourselves to God for the salvation of our brothers. Let 

31 1 us take the martyrs’ crown so the future will applaud us and God will 
give us our reward.” He encouraged his army with these and many 
other notions, then, his face shining, arranged the battle-line. 

The armies stood a little way apart from each other from dawn to 
dusk but did not engage one another. When evening came the Em- 
peror shifted his position and the barbarians followed him. They 
wanted to get ahead of him, and so shifted their route, but they fell into 
marshes, got lost, and came into great danger. The Emperor crossed 
and recrossed the regions of Persarmenia. But as this land belonged 
to the Persians, many Persarmenians joined Sarbarazas, and he en- 
larged his army. 

But after winter came, the members of Sarbarazas’ host dispersed 
to their own districts so they could rest in their homes. When Hera- 
kleios learned this he planned a surprise night engagement. Sarbaros 
had no suspicion of what was going on. When it was deep winter, 
Herakleios selected stout horses and the army’s braver troops. He 
divided them into two bands and armed them, ordering one group to 
lead the way against Sarbaros, while he followed behind with the other. 
They sped through the night, reaching the village of the Salbanoi 
around its ninth hour. 53 When the Persians in the village realized the 
Romans had come, they sprang up and rushed against them. But the 
Romans killed all of them save one, who informed Sarbaros. He got 
up, climbed aboard his horse naked and barefoot, and got away safely. 

The Romans overtook his wives and the whole flower of the Per- 
sian officers, satraps, and select troops while they were going back into 
their families’ tents. They attacked and burned them to death, though 
some were killed in battle and others bound in legirons. Except for 

312 Sarbaros, almost no-one was saved. The Romans even took Sarbaros’ 
arms: his gold shield, sword, and spear, and his belt and sandals, which 
were incrusted with precious stones. Once they had seized all these 

52. Cf. Deuteronomy 32:20. 

53. Day and night were considered to begin at sunrise and sunset, 
respectively; each was divided into twelve hours. Thus, the ninth hour of the 
night would be about three a.m. 

l 9 

the chronicle of theophanes 

When thet e T* 3 rCH ° n thC mCn Wh ° Were dis P ersed to *eir villages, 
se troops learned of Sarbaros’ flight they ran awav 

o ering resistance. Herakleios pursued them- he killed some a U 

tured others, while the rest returned to Persia In ^Srace The F^ 

peror reassembled his army and joyfully wintered in drat area. E 

ANNUS MUNDI 6116 (SEPTEMBER 1, 624-AUGUST 31, 625) 
a.d. 616 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 15 
Persian King Khosroes: 39 years: year 37 

B Bil1 ° f t f“”'7 Sergio,: 29 years. ■ year 16 
Bahop af Jerusalem Zachariah: 22 years ■ year 16 
Bishop of Alexandria George: 14 years: year 6 

and difficult to travel lav ahenH i j- ^ or tWO roads > narrow 
» the land ** ° d ” 

profitable, bu, lacked supplies. The other Jem oylrlTZ " m ° re 
tains to Syria and had nlenfu r j ent over the Taurus moun- 

latter, even if waflje 1 ”, ''' Ev ">"™ Preferred the 

much labor they traversed fl j n * ^ U ° der 3 ,0t ° f snow - With 

Tigris river, an] ^ 

prisoners rested. From that area the v d A lda ‘ The arm Y and its 
313 to Byzantium which ^ a 

caused great joy in the city g h d ha PP ened to hi m; they 

Emp^XcSTsmta | h,S SCa “" ed a " d «h.cled him. The 

passes leading to his position 0 himsefl’wem"^ ^ 

thC N y m Phios e rive S r W an] 

ropes and boa* Zl ba^t T ^ ^ m3de ° f — 

moved the who e bridge to th ro P es one bank and 

found he at^°h*r T™ ^ ^ he 

ered a ford. Incrediblv he r t ^ !“ Went further and discov- 
came to Samosata ^ and 

Germanikeia; he bypassed Ada a aurus mountains, reaching 
stretched om "L bridte „„ct “ lhc Saros Sarbaros 

embarrassment, and followed ““ Euphra tes without 

his army Sr^ S,, 1 bridge, found a resting p, aC e for 

Sarbaros came J™he onnos V T r 'a “ give them a father, 
found the Romans held Z budget 



ran across the bridge in a disorderly way to attack the Persians, slaugh- 
tering many of them. The Emperor tried to stop his men from crossing 
in disorder, lest the enemy find a way to get to the bridge and come 
back across it with them. The army, however, did not obey Herakleios. 
Sarbaros laid an ambush: by showing himself as if in flight, he drew 
many Romans across the bridge in pursuit, contrary to the Emperor’s 
314 will. They were punished for the disobedience: Sarbaros wheeled 
round and routed them, killing as many as had gone beyond the 
bridge. After the Emperor saw that the barbarians had broken ranks 
in their pursuit and that the Romans stationed in the guardtower were 
killing many, he marched against them. 

A giant of a man met and attacked him in the middle of the bridge. 
The Emperor struck him and hurled him into the river. When he fell 
the barbarians turned in flight and threw themselves into the river like 
frogs near the far end of the bridge, though some were put to the 
sword. But the barbarian host massed at the riverbank shot at the 
Romans and did not let them cross. Fighting in superhuman fashion, 
the Emperor nobly crossed and attacked the barbarians with only a few 
companions, amazing even Sarbaros. He said to Kosmas (a fugitive 
apostate from the Romans who was standing near him), “Look at the 
Caesar, Kosmas: how boldly he stands in battle, struggling alone 
against such a multitude: like an anvil he spurns their blows.” For the 
Emperor was recognizable because of his true boots 54 and received 
many blows, though none was fatal in this battle. 

Both sides fought all day in this battle, separating from each other 
when evening came. Sarbaros grew afraid and retreated. The Emperor 
assembled his army and hastened to Sebasteia. He crossed the Halys 
river and spent the whole winter in that country. 

Khosroes, that madman, sent messengers to take the treasures 
from all the churches under Persian control. He even forced the Chris- 
tians to become Nestorians 55 in order to confound the Emperor. 

315 ANNUS MUNDI 6117 (SEPTEMBER 1, 625-AUGUST 31, 626) 

16. 38. 17. 17. 7. 

In this year the Persian king Khosroes created a new army, recruit- 
ing foreigners, citizens, and house-slaves, and making a levy from 

54. As part of his regalia, the Emperor wore scarlet boots, a privilege 
denied his subjects. 

55. Nestorian Christianity was the only form of that religion the Persians 
tolerated; they did so precisely because the Nestorians (who emphasized 
Christ s humanity at the expense of His divinity) were persecuted within the 
Byzantine Empire, and thus unlikely to be pro-Roman. 



every people He gave this levy to the general Sain, along with 50 000 
men he took from Sarbaros’ phalanx. Khosroes named them’ the 
golden spears” and sent them out against the Emperor. He dis- 
patched Sarbaros and the remainder of his army against Constantino- 
ple so that, with the Huns of the west (whom they call Avars), Bulgars 
Sklavimans, and Gepids (with all of whom he had conspired), he could 
march on and besiege the city. 

When the Emperor learned this he split his army into three divi- 
sions. He sent some to guard the city and gave others to his brother 
Theodore, whom he ordered to make war on Sain. The third part he 
lmself took to Lazika. In that country he parleyed with the Turks of 
the east (whom they call Khazars), and called on them for an alliance 

1 ogether with his newly-assembled army, Sain overtook the Em- 
peror s brother Theodore and armed for battle. When it was joined 
God worked with Theodore at the intercession of His all-exalted 
Mother: incredibly, hail fell on and struck many of the barbarians, but 
the Romans formation remained undisturbed. The Romans routed 
the Persians, killing a large number of them. When Khosroes learned 

l 'f r.^ Ca T e , funous at SaTn - His general’s spirit was utterly broken- 
he fell ill and died. Khosroes ordered his body preserved in salt and 
earned home to him and subjected the corpse to many indignities. 

Jib The Khazars broke through the Caspian Gates and invaded Persia 
entering the land of Adraiga under their general Ziebel, who was 
second in rank to their Khagan. In the places they traversed, they took 
Persian prisoners and burned their cities and villages. The Emperor 
left Lazika to meet them. When Ziebel saw him he ran toward him 
bowed his neck, and prostrated himself before him: the Persians saw 
this from the c Uy of Tiflis . AI1 the Turkish people fcU face ^ tQ ^ 

ground. While stretched out on their faces they acclaimed the Em- 
peror, an honor unusual from their tribe. Their leaders climbed onto 
stones, then prostrated themselves in the same way. Ziebel presented 
his firstborn son to the Emperor; the Khazar took pleasure in Hera- 
kleios words and was amazed at his appearance and wisdom. Ziebel 
collected 40,000 noble men, whom he gave to the Emperor in alliance; 
he himself returned to his own country. Once the Emperor had re- 
ceived the Khazars, he marched against Khosroes. 

Sarbaros attacked Chalcedon while the Avars approached Con- 
stantinople from Thrace. They wanted to take it, and set many engines 
in motion against it. A host of dug-out boats arrived from the Danube- 
there was a countless number of them, and they filled the Golden 
ora. For ten days they besieged the city by land and sea, but were 
aeteated by God s power and cooperation and the intercession of His 

principal h^rbor.^ ^ Constantin opIe to the north and held its 



immaculate virgin Mother. In great disgrace, the Avars withdrew to 
their own country. But Sarbaros, who was stationed by Chalcedon, did 
not retreat, but wintered there, denuding the opposite shore and its 
cities. 57 

317 ANNUS MUNDI 6118 (SEPTEMBER 1, 626— AUGUST 31, 627) 
A.D. 618 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 13 
Persian King Khosroes: 39 years: year 39 
Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 18 
Bishop of Jerusalem Zachariah: 22 years: year 18 
Bishop of Alexandria George: 14 years: year 8 

In this year, beginning in September, Herakleios and the Turks 
invaded Persia. Because of winter this was unexpected; Khosroes was 
astonished to learn of it. When the Turks saw the winter and the 
continuous Persian attacks, they could not stand toiling with the Em- 
peror; they gave him up for lost and turned back, beginning to drift 
away a few at a time. The Emperor talked this over with his army. He 
said, “Brothers, you know that no-one wants to ally with us except God 
and she who bore Him without semen. This is so He can reveal His 
power, since salvation does not lie in masses of men or arms. Rather 
He sends down His aid to those who believe in His mercy.” 

Khosroes assembled all his forces, appointing Rhazates (a brave 
and warlike man) as their general. He dispatched them against Hera- 
kleios. The Emperor was burning the cities and towns of Persia, and 
put to the sword the Persians he overtook. On October 9 of the 
fifteenth indiction he entered the land of Khamantha, where he rested 
the army for a week. Rhazates went to Gazakon, while the Romans used 
up the supplies ahead. Because he was behind he was like a hungry 
dog, barely nourished from Herakleios’ crumbs. Many of his horses 
were lost because he could not find supplies. 

318 On December 1 the Emperor reached the Greater Zab river; he 
crossed it and camped near Nineveh. Rhazates followed him to the 
ford; he went down the river, found another three miles away, and 
crossed. The Emperor sent out his general Baanes with a few chosen 
soldiers, who encountered a Persian battalion. They slew its count and 
brought back his head and solid-gold sword. They killed many men 
and brought back two alive, one of whom was Rhazates’ spatharios. 58 
He told the Emperor that Rhazates wanted to make war on him; he had 

57. I.e., the Asian shore of the Bosporos and the Sea of Marmora. 

58. A title of honor with the literal meaning of swordbearer or “body- 
guard,” the word often means little more than “aide.” 



been so ordered by Khosroes, who had also sent him 3,000 armed 
men, though these had not yet arrived. 

tK • I. he f Emperor sent his baggage train ahead when he learned of 

it'nnnA m’ °°u ng for 3 place where he could g ive battle before 
the 3,000 could join his enemies. He found a plain quite suitable for 

battle, harangued his army, and arranged it in battle formation. When 
he arrived, Rhazates arranged his own army in three wedges and 
marched on the Emperor. On December 12 (rhe sabbath day) battle 
was joined. The Emperor sprang out ahead of everyone to meet a 
Persian officer: by the power of God and His Mother he overthrew him 
He met another and overthrew him too. A third man, who struck him 

him a/weU ^ W ° Unded h>S hp ’ attacked but the Emperor killed 

the thC tW ° SldeS ei W d each other - Once 

the battle was well under way, infantrymen wounded the Emperor’s 
roan horse (which was called Antelope): it took a spear in its thigh 

31 9 SiT ^ many SWOrd - strokes a < Ps face but, as it was wearing 
9 h S' Er arm ° r ’ U was not harmed, nor were the blows effective. In the 

the I th T PerS,3n divisi ° n comm anders, almost all 

heir officers, and most of their army fell. Fifty Romans were slain not 

counting ten more who were wounded but did not die. The battle 
lasted, from dawn until the eleventh hour. The Romans set up twentv- 
eight Persian standards, not counting those that were broken. 59 

hey P lund ^ed the corpses, taking their corselets, helmets, and 
their arms. The Romans took many solid-gold swords, gold- 
encrusted belts pearls, Rhazates’ solid-gold shield (which had ahun- 
dred twenty golden leaves), and his solid-gold corselet. They brought 
ack his robe, his bracelets, his solid-gold saddle, and his head Ehir- 
samouses, the commander of the Persians’ Iberian subjects, was taken 

The armies remained two bowshots apart from each other for 
there was no rout. During the night the Roman soldiers watered their 
horses holding them out as bait. The Persian cavalrymen stood guard 
over the corpses of their dead until the seventh hour of the night- at 
the eighth hour of the night they retreated and withdrew behind their 
trench From there they went off to camp in the rugged foothills of the 

ffiifoe mk S ’ °| k been intimidated ' N °-° ne remembers such a 
battfe taking place between Persians and Romans: the fighting did not 

alone r ° Ugh the whoIe da y- Tlle Romans won, but by God’s help 

rife I!!! E “ per ° r encoura ged his army to march on Khosroes to ter- 
y . Khosroes sent messengers summoning Sarbaros from 

59. As a victory monument. 

2 4 


320 Byzantium and Chalcedon. On December 2 1 the Emperor learned that 
Rhazates’ army, which had disengaged from combat, had been joined 
by the 3,000 men Khosroes had sent. It followed him to Nineveh. The 
Emperor crossed the Greater Zab, then sent out the turmarch 60 
George with 1,000 soldiers to drive on to seize control of the bridges 
over the Lesser Zab before Khosroes learned about it. George 
marched forty-eight miles during the night and seized the four 
bridges of the Lesser Zab. He took alive the Persians he found in the 
bridges’ watch-towers. On December 23 the Emperor arrived at the 
bridges, crossed, and camped in the buildings of lesdem. The army 
and its beasts rested there, celebrating the festival of the birth of 

When Khosroes learned the Romans had captured the Lesser 
Zab’s bridges, he sent messages to the Persian army under Rhazates 
that they should make haste, get ahead of the Emperor, and attack him. 
Inspired, they crossed the Lesser Zab elsewhere before the Emperor 
had crossed and moved ahead of him. The Emperor reached a place 
called Dezerida, which he took and burned. The Persians crossed the 
Torna River’s bridge and camped there. The Emperor came to and 
took another palace of Khosroes’, which was called Rhousa. He sus- 
pected that the enemy intended to attack him at the bridge over the 
Torna River, but when they saw him they abandoned the bridge and 
fled. He crossed it without hindrance and came to a place called Beklal; 
once he had taken it, he held horse-races there. 

Some Armenians who were with the Persians came to the Emperor 
by night, saying, “Khosroes is camped with his elephants and his army 

321 at a place called Barasroth, which is five miles from the palace of 
Dastagerd. He ordered his army gathered there to attack you. For in 
that spot there is a river which is hard to cross; it has a narrow bridge, 
narrow streets among the village’s houses, and rushing torrents.” The 
Emperor stayed at the palace Beklal while he took counsel with his 
officers and the army. In one palace enclosure he found three hundred 
fattened antelope, and in another around a hundred fattened wild 
asses. He gave them all to the army. He spent January 1 there, as he 
had also found innumerable sheep, pigs, and cattle. The whole army 
rested, extolling God and enjoying His benefits. 

They seized some herders and learned from them that on Decem- 
ber 23 Khosroes had heard the Emperor had crossed the bridge of the 
Torna. He immediately evacuated the palace at Dastagerd and went to 
Ctesiphon 61 in great haste, throwing all the money he had in the palace 
onto his retinue’s elephants, camels, and mules. He also wrote Rha- 

60. A rank approximately equivalent to brigadier-general. 

61. The capital of the Persian Empire. 

2 5 


zates army that it could enter the same palace and his officers’ houses 
and carry away whatever it found in them. 62 

1 he Emperor sent half his army to Dastagerd; he went to another 
palace called Bebdark by another road. He took and burned it, thank- 
ing God for working such marvels at the intercession of His Mother. 
For who would have expected Khosroes to flee from the face of the 

Roman Emperor> S° in g out of his palace and into Ctesiphon? He had 
not deigned to see Ctesiphon for twenty-four years, as even his palaces 
were at Dastagerd. 

In the palace at Dastagerd the Roman soldiers found three hun- 
dred Roman standards which had been taken at various times. They 
also found goods which had been left behind: aloes and logs of aloes 
of seventy or eighty pounds, silk, so many linen shirts as to be beyond 
counting, sugar, ginger, and many other goods. Some also found sil- 
ver, pure-silk cloaks, and a great number of beautiful fleecy carpets and 
woven rugs: they burned all these because of their weight. After they 
were done camping among the pavilions and arcades Khosroes had 
built, they burned them all, and his many statues as well. In these 
palaces they also found countless numbers of ostriches, antelope, wild 
asses, peacocks, and pheasants; huge lions and tigers lived in 
Khosroes hunting grounds. A great number of prisoners from Edessa, 
Alexandria, and other cities fled to the Emperor. He made a celebra- 
tion of lights, which gladdened the army, and rested it and its horses. 
Once he had taken Khosroes’ palaces, which were very valuable, mar- 
velous, and amazing buildings, he razed them to the ground so 
Khosroes would learn how much suffering he had caused the Romans 
by laying waste and burning their cities. 

Many of the palace overseers were captured. When they were 
asked when Khosroes had left Dastagerd, they said, “He heard you 
were near nine days before you arrived, and secretly bored through the 

~ t. lty Wal * near hlS palace - Thus he le<t through the orchards in a great 
hurry, as did his wife and children. They did this so there would be no 
confusion in the city.” Neither Khosroes’ soldiers nor his officers had 
learned of this until he was five miles away. Then he let them know so 
they could follow him to Ctestiphon. He had not been able to make 
five miles a day, but made twenty-five while fleeing. His wives and 
children fled in utter confusion, losing sight and touch with each other. 
When night came Khosroes entered the house of a lowly farmer to stay 
there, though he could barely get through the door; Herakleios was 
amazed when he heard this. 

On the third day Khosroes reached Ctesiphon. Twenty-four years 

62. His reasoning presumably being that it was better for his own sub- 
jects to plunder his possessions than for the Romans to do so. 


before, when he was besieging Daras during the reign of the Roman 
Emperor Phokas, sorcerers and astrologers had predicted he would be 
destroyed when he entered Ctesiphon. He had not been willing to go 
so much as a fraction of a mile from Dastagerd, but then went off to 
Ctesiphon in flight. He did not have the courage to stay there, but 
crossed the bridge over the Tigris to the city which is called Seleukeia 
by us, but Goudeser by the Persians. He stored up all his treasure in 
it, and stayed there with his wife Seirem and three of his daughters. 
He sent the rest of his wives and most of his children to a strongpoint 
forty miles further east. 

Some Persians slandered Sarbaros to Khosroes: they said he was 
pro-Roman and had spoken slightingly of the king. Khosroes dis- 
patched a spatharios of his with an order he had written to Kardarigas, 
Sarbaros’ second-in-command: that he should execute Sarbaros, take 
his army, and hurry to Persia to help Khosroes. But in Galatia the 
324 Romans captured the man carrying the letters. His captors escaped the 
Persians, bringing him to Byzantium to present him to the Emperor’s 
son. When the Emperor 63 learned the truth from the messenger, he 
immediately summoned Sarbaros. He came in and presented himself 
to the Emperor, who gave him the letter to Kardarigas and showed him 
the messenger. Reading the letter, he was fully satisfied as to its truth, 
and at once turned round to make agreements with the Emperor’s son 
and the patriarch. He falsified Khosroes’ letter by inserting into it 
another four hundred satraps, officers, commanders of a thousand, 
and commanders of a hundred who were to be killed along with him- 
self. Then he put the seal back on the letter in the proper way and 
convened a meeting with his high officers and Kardarigas. He read the 
letter, then asked Kardarigas, “What do you plan to do about this?” 
Filled with rage, the officers renounced Khosroes and made peace- 
agreements with the Emperor, who, after they held a common council, 
thought it good that they should withdraw from Chalcedon and return 
to their own country without doing any damage. 

Herakleios wrote to Khosroes: “I am pursuing and chasing peace. 
For I do not willingly burn Persia; rather, you force me to do so. Let 
us now, therefore, throw down our arms and welcome peace. Let us 
quench this fire, before it consumes everything.” When Khosroes 
would not agree, the Persian army’s hatred of him increased. 

Khosroes enlisted all his officers’ men, his entire retinue, and that 
of his wives; he armed them and sent them to join Rhazates’ army at 
the Narbas River twelve miles from Ctesiphon. He ordered them to cut 
the bridge and the boat-bridge when the Emperor crossed the river. 
On January 7, the Emperor moved out from Dastagerd. After traveling 

63. Herakleios’ son Constantine III, in Constantinople. 





325 for three days, he camped twelve miles from the Persian encampment 
on the Narbas River, in which the Persians even had two hundred 
elephants. The Emperor sent George, the turmarch of the Ar- 
meniacs, 64 to advance up to the Narbas and find out if it had a ford. 
He found that the Persians had cut the bridges and that the Narbas had 
no ford, and then returned to the Emperor. Herakleios went to Siazou- 
ros; he spent the whole month of February moving here and there and 
burning villages and towns. In March he came to-a village called Bar- 
zan. He spent seven days there, then sent out his general Mezezios on 
a raid. 

Goundabousan, one of the commanders of a thousand of Sar- 
baros’ army, went over to Mezezios along with five other men: three 
were counts, the other two officers. Mezezios brought them to the 
Emperor, to whom Goundabousan gave important news. He said, 
“When Khosroes fled from Dastagerd to Ctesiphon and Seleukeia, he 
contracted dysentery and wanted to crown his son Merdasas, who was 
his child by Seirem. He recrossed the river with Merdasas, Seirem, and 
her other son Saliar. But he left his firstborn son Siroes and his broth- 
ers and wives on the other side of the river. When Siroes learned 
Khosroes wanted to crown Merdasas, he was dismayed, and sent a man 
who had had the same wet nurse as himself to me, saying, ‘Come across 
the river so I can meet you.’ I was afraid to cross because of Khosroes, 
and told Siroes, ‘Write me through your dose comrade if you want 
anything.’ Siroes wrote to me, ‘You know the wicked Khosroes has 
destroyed the Persian state. He wants to crown Merdasas, and has 
contempt f ° r mC ’ hlS firstborn - If y°u speak to the army and make it 
326 accept me, I promise to increase its wages and to make peace with the 
Roman Emperor and the Turks; we will live well. Hurry with your 
army, so I can become king. I promise to unite and exalt you all 
especially you yourself.’ Through his close friend I told him that if I 
could I would talk to the army and work on it. I talked to twenty-two 
counts and other officers and to many soldiers, and won them over. 
When I revealed this to Siroes, he told me that on March 23 I should 
take some of the younger members of the garrison and meet him at 
the Tigris’ boat-bridge so we could take him to the army and move 
against Khosroes. With Siroes are the two sons of Sarbarazas, the son 
of Iesdem, and many other officers’ sons, as well as the son of Aram: 
all of them select men. If they can kill Khosroes, well and good. If they 
fail, they will all go over to you, Siroes included. He sent me to you, 
my lord, because he respects the Roman Empire which once saved 

64. The Armeniacs were garrisoned in northeastern Asia Minor once the 
moves ot the seventh century were completed. 

Khosroes. 65 From Khosroes Roman soil has suffered many evils, and 
because of the king’s ingratitude you may not believe me.” 66 

Herakleios sent a messenger back to Siroes, telling him to open 
the prisons, release the Romans held in them, arm them, and move 
against Khosroes in that way. Siroes obeyed the Emperor. He released 
the men who had been imprisoned and attacked his parricidal father 
Khosroes, who thought fit to flee but, unable to do so, was caught. The 
Persians fettered him with his elbows behind him; they put heavy irons 
on his feet and his neck, then put him in the “house of darkness,” 
which he himself had fortified. He had built it at first in order to store 
327 his money there. They gave him poor bread and water and starved 
him, for Siroes said, “Let him eat the gold which he accumulated in 
vain, for which he starved many and devastated the world.” He sent 
satraps to revile Khosroes and spit on him, then slew his son Merdasas 
(whom he had wished to crown) and all the rest of his sons in his sight. 
He sent every one of Khosroes’ enemies to curse him, beat him, and 
spit on him. After five days of this, Siroes ordered them to kill him by 
archery. Thus, in these terrible conditions, Khosroes gave up his 
wicked life. 

Then Siroes wrote to Herakleios, sending him the good news of 
bloody Khosroes’ end. He made a perpetual peace with the Emperor 
and restored to him all the imprisoned Christians, the captives from 
all over Persia (including the patriarch Zachariah), and the precious 
and lifegiving wood which Sarbarazas took from Jerusalem when he 
seized that city. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6119 (SEPTEMBER 1, 627— AUGUST 31, 628) 

Persian King Siroes: 1 year 

6119 . 619 . 18 . 1 . 19 . 19 . 9 . 

In this year there was peace between Persians and Romans. The 
Emperor sent his brother Theodore with the Persian king’s letters and 
men so that the Persians in Edessa, Palestine, Jerusalem, and the rest 
of the Roman cities could traverse Roman territory without harm while 
peacefully withdrawing to Persia. In six years the Emperor had over- 
thrown Persia; in the seventh he returned to Constantinople with great 
joy, and in that year performed a mystic celebration. God, Who had 
made every created thing in six days, named the seventh day that of 

65. In 591 Maurice had restored Khosroes II to his throne, helping him 
overthrow the rebel Bahram. Khosroes justified his attacks to the Empire after 
the accession of Phokas by claiming to be Maurice’s avenger. 

66. Me: i.e., Siroes. 



the chronicle of theophanes 

328 rest. Similarly, Herakleios, who had completed many labors in six 
years, returned with peace and joy in the seventh year and rested. 

When the people of the city learned of his arrival, they were all 
filled with irresistible love and went to Hiereia 67 to meet him, as did 
the patriarch and Constantine, his son the co-Emperor. They carried 
upraised olive branches and torches, and acclaimed Herakleios with 
joy and tears. His son came forward, fell at his feet, and embraced him. 
d hey both moistened the ground with their tears; when the people saw 
this, they all sent up hymns of thanksgiving to God. They caught up 
the Emperor and, leaping for joy, entered the city. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6120 (SEPTEMBER 1, 628— AUGUST 31, 629) 

Persian king Ardaser: 7 months 
6120. 620. 19. 1. 20. 20. 10. 

In this year at spring the Emperor left the imperial city to travel 
to Jerusalem, bringing back the precious and lifegiving wood to restore 
it as a thanksgiving to God. When he came to Tiberias, the Christians 
denounced a man named Benjamin on the grounds that he had mis- 
treated them. He was very rich, and received the Emperor and his 
army. The Emperor condemned him, and asked, “For what reason did 
you mistreat the Christians?” 

He said, “Because they are enemies of my faith,” for he was a Jew. 
Then the Emperor warned him, persuaded him to convert, and bap- 
tized him in the house of Eustathios the Neapolitan, a Christian who 
had received the Emperor. 

Herakleios entered Jerusalem. He restored Zachariah the patri- 
arch and the precious and lifegiving wood to their own place and gave 
thanks to God. He expelled the Hebrews from the holy city, ordering 
that they should not be allowed to come within three miles of it. When 
329 he reached Edessa he restored to the orthodox the church the Nestori- 
ans had held since Khosroes’ time. 

When he came to Hierapolis, Herakleios heard that the Persian 
king Siroes had died and his son Ardaser succeeded to rule over the 
Persians. After he had held power for seven months Sarbarazas re- 
belled against him, smote him down, and ruled the Persians for two 
months. The Persians killed him and set up Khosroes’ daughter Bo- 
rane as ruler; she ruled the Persian Empire for seven months. Hormis- 
das succeeded her but was run out by the Saracens, and the Persian 
Empire has been subject to the Arabs until the present day. 

67. A suburb of Constantinople on the Asian side of the Bosporos, south 
and east of Chalcedon. 

the chronicle of theophanes 

ANNUS MUNDI 6121 (SEPTEMBER 1, 629— AUGUST 31, 630) 
A.D. 621 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 20 
Persian King Hormisdas: 11 years: year 1 
Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 21 
Bishop of Jerusalem Zachariah: 22 years: year 21 
Bishop of Alexandria George: 14 years: year 11 

In this year Athanasios the patriarch of the Jacobites 68 came to the 
Emperor Herakleios while he was in Hierapolis. He was a tricky man, 
and an evildoer because of his innate Syrian knavery. When he began 
talks on the faith with the Emperor, Herakleios promised to make him 
patriarch of Antioch if he would accept the council of Chalcedon. 69 He 
hypocritically accepted the synod, agreeing there were two conjoint 
natures in Christ. But then he asked the Emperor how he should refer 
to Christ’s energies and wills: were they dual or single? The Emperor 
was confused; he wrote to Sergios the bishop of Constantinople and 
also called on Cyrus the bishop of Phasis, who agreed with Sergios that 
330 there was one will and one energy. For Sergios maintained there was 
one natural will and energy in Christ and so wrote, as he was Syrian- 
born and had Jacobite ancestors. The Emperor took their joint advice, 
and also found Athanasios agreeing with them. For Athanasios knew 

68. Jacob Baradaios was chosen as the monopliysite (see note 69) bishop 
of EdessaJn 541, an office he held until his death in 578. He strengthened and 
reorganized the monophysite church of Syria, which thereafter often bore his 

69. Held in 451, the fourth ecumenical council, that of Chalcedon, dealt 
with the relation of the human and divine natures of Christ. Eutykhes, follow- 
ing the Alexandrian school of theology (which always stressed Christ’s divin- 
ity), declared that after the incarnation Christ had but one nature, and that 
divine. This view, the very opposite of Nestorianism, was popular in Egypt and 
Syria, but not in the rest of the Empire. The council of Chalcedon anathema- 
tized Eutykhes and declared Christ had two natures, human and divine, with- 
out “confusion, change, separation, or division.” However, despite the deci- 
sion of the council, Egypt and much of Syria remained monophysite: that is, 
believed Christ had but one nature. This religious disaffection caused the 
Empire great difficulty. If the Emperor tried to conciliate Egypt and Syria 
theologically, he would antagonize many of his own subjects, as well as the 
staunchly orthodox west. If he persecuted the monophysites, they would not 
remain loyal. Like many of his predecessors, and with equal lack of success, 
Herakleios sought a formula to satisfy everyone, and especially to rally the 
disaffected provinces of Syria and Egypt against the incursions of the Muslims. 
This would prove futile, and once it was recognized that Syria and Egypt were 
permanently lost to the Arabs, the Empire no longer had to cater to the 
theological views of their inhabitants. The expression of the rejection of the 
Syrian and Egyptian view was the third council of Constantinople, of 680-681. 

3 * 




that where one energy is found, there also one nature is recognized. 

Once he was sure of his course, the Emperor communicated the 
opinion of Sergios and Cyrus to John, the pope of Rome. 70 He would 
not agree with their heresy. 

After Geoi ge the bishop of Alexandria died, Cyrus was dispatched 
as bishop of Alexandria. He joined with Theodore the bishop of Pharas 
to celebrate this union, though it was not durable. They both wrote 
that Christ had one natural energy. After these events came one right 
after the other, the council of Chalcedon and the Catholic church 
encountered great censure. For the Jacobites and the Theodosianoi 7 ! 
were boasting, “Not we to Chalcedon, but rather Chalcedon has ac- 
comodated itself to us. Through His one energy it agrees Christ has 
one nature.” 

At this time Sophronios was elected bishop of Jerusalem. Assem- 
bling the bishops under him, he anathematized the monothelite 72 doc- 
trine and sent confessions of faith to Sergios of Constantinople and 
John of Rome. When he heard this, Herakleios was ashamed. He did 
not want to dissolve his own creations, but could not stand censure 
either. Thinking he was doing something great, he then promulgated 
the Edict, which said one should not confess either one or two energies 
in Christ. 73 When the party of Severus 74 read it, they dragged the 
reputation of the Catholic church through the taverns and bath- 
houses, saying, “The Chalcedonians formerly were pro-Nestorian- 
then they sobered and turned toward the truth joining us in the one 
nature of Christ through His one energy. But now they have decided 
against that which they rightly believed, and have destroyed both sides, 
as they confess neither one nor two energies in Christ.” 


to 642. 

Theophanes’ chronology is confused, as is often the case when he 
events in the west; the pope in question is John IV, pope from 640 

71. A monophysite sect. 

1 1 • 72 \T hlS 1S the attem P ted compromise doctrine put forward by Hera- 
leios and his grandson Constans II: while accepting Christ’s two natures, as 
decided at Chalcedon, monotheletism said they were guided by a single will 
(thelema). Most monophysites were willing enough to accept this doctrine but 
t eir acceptance did nothing to restore to the Byzantines their eastern prov- 
inces lost for good to Islam. The papacy, with the exception of pope Honorius 
(anathematized by the third council of Constantinople), was always hostile to 
monotheletism and its predecessor monenergism (an early attempt at compro- 
mise which said that Christ’s two natures shared a single energy rather than 
a single will). 

73 This document was in the tradition of the Henotikon of Zeno (pro- 
mulgated in 481), which tried to ban argument as to whether Christ had one 
or two natures. Like that earlier imperial effort, this attempt to paper over a 
theological problem failed because it was attacked from both sides. 

r a 74 \ T !? at 1S ’ the Jacobites. Severus was a monophysite who was bishop 
of Antioch from 512 to 518. F 

After the death of Sergios, Pyrrhos succeeded to the throne of 
g31 Constantinople. After Herakleios died and his son Constantine be- 
came Emperor, Pyrrhos and Martina poisoned him, 75 and Martina’s 
son Heraklonas became Emperor. Because Pyrrhos was impious, the 
senate and city ousted him, Martina, and her son; Constantine’s son 
Constans became Emperor. Paul — himself a heretic — was chosen 
bishop of Constantinople. 

The pope of Rome, John, convened a synod of bishops to ana- 
thematize the monothelite heresy. In like fashion, various bishops in 
Africa, Byzakion, Numidia, and Mauretania convened and anathema- 
tized the monophysites. After John the bishop of Rome died, Theo- 
dore was chosen pope in his place. 76 Pyrrhos came to Africa and had 
a meeting with the holy abbot Maximus (who was highly respected for 
his monastic accomplishments) and the inspired prelates there. They 
confuted and convinced him, then sent him to pope Theodore. He 
gave the pope a statement of orthodoxy and was favorably received by 
him. But when he retired from Rome to Ravenna 77 he turned about, 
as a dog does toward its own vomit. 78 

When he learned this, the pope convened the full numbers of the 
church and went to the grave of the chief of the apostles. 79 He asked 
for the holy chalice and, with the blood of Christ falling drop by drop 
into the ink, drafted a condemnation of Pyrrhos and those in commu- 
nion with him. 

When Pyrrhos reached Constantinople, the bold heretics restored 
him to its throne, as Paul had died. After pope Theodore died, the 
most holy Martin was elected at Rome. 80 Maximus came from Africa 
to kindle Martin’s zeal. They convened a synod of a hundred fifty 
bishops, anathematized Sergios, Pyrrhos, Cyrus, and Paul, and clari- 
fied and strengthened the doctrine of Christ our God’s two wills and 
332 energies. This was in the eighth indiction — the ninth year of the reign 
of Herakleios’ grandson Constans, who was outraged when he learned 
of it. He brought the holy Martin and Maximus to Constantinople, 
tortured them, then sent them into exile in the Cherson 81 and its 
environs. He also took vengeance on many western bishops. After 
Martin’s exile Agathon was chosen pope of Rome. 82 He was moved by 

75. This is a slander; his death was almost certainly due to natural causes, 
and was most probably caused by tuberculosis. 

76. Theodore I, pope from 642 to 649. 

77. The capital of Byzantine Italy. 

78. Cf. Proverbs 26:11, 2 Peter 1:19. 

79. That is, St. Peter. 

80. Martin I, pope from 649 to 655. 

81. The Crimea. 

82. Agathon, pope from 678 to 681 — Theophanes, poorly informed as 
to affairs in Rome, has omitted the names of four popes. 




holy zeal to convene a holy synod which renounced the monothelite 
heresy and clarified Christ’s two wills and energies. 

At the same time as the church was being harassed by the Emper- 
ors and their impious priests, the desolate Amalek rose up to smite us, 
Christ’s people. The first fearful fall of the Roman army came to pass: 
I mean the one at Gabitha, the Yarmuk, and Dathesmos. After this the 
fall of Palestine, Caesarea, and Jerusalem came one after the other, 
then the ruin of Egypt, the capture of the Mediterranean, its islands, 
and all Romania , 83 the final destruction of the Roman expedition and 
army in Phoenicia, and the devastation of all Christian peoples and 
places, which did not cease until the tormentor of the church was 
wickedly killed . 84 

ANNUS MUNDI 6122 (SEPTEMBER 1, 630-AUGUST 31, 631) 
a.d. 622 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 21 
Arab ruler Muhammad: 9 years: year 9 
Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 22 
Bishop of ferusalem Zachariah: 22 years: year 22 
Bishop of Alexandria George: 14 years: year 12 

333 In this year 85 died Muhammad, the Saracens’ ruler and false 
prophet. He had previously chosen his relative Abu Bakr as his succes- 
sor. As soon as rumor of him arrived, everyone became afraid. 

When he first appeared, the Hebrews were misled and thought he 
was the Anointed One 86 they expected, so that some of their leaders 
came to him, accepted his religion, and gave up of that of Moses, who 
had looked on God. Those who did this were ten in number, and they 
stayed with Muhammad until his death. But when they saw him eating 
of a camel 87 they knew he was not the man they had thought. They 
were at a loss as to what to do; as they were afraid to give up his 
religion, they stayed at his side and taught him lawless behavior toward 
us Christians. 

I think it necessary to discuss his ancestry in full. He sprang 
from a noble tribe descended from Ishmael the son of Abraham, for 
Ishmael’s descendant Nizaros is proclaimed to be the father of all 
Arabs. He had two sons, Moudaros and Rhabias. Moudaros begat 

83. That is, the Roman (or Byzantine) Empire. 

84. Constans II was assassinated in Sicily in 668 (see below, under annus 
mundi 6160). 

85. Actually, in 632. 

86. Or, “the Christ.” 

87. The camel is an unclean beast under Jewish dietary standards. 


Quraysh , 88 Qais, Themime, Asad, and other unknown tribes. They 
lived in the desert of Madianitin and kept cattle; they dwelt in tents. 
In the more distant regions the men are not of their tribe, but of 
that of Iektan: the Yemenites (that is, Homeritai 89 ). Some of them 
made their living from camels. 

Since Muhammad was a helpless orphan, he thought it good to go 
to a rich woman named Khadija (who was his relative) to hire on to 

334 manage her camels and conduct her business in Egypt and Palestine. 
Being a bold speaker, a little later he secretly went to the woman, who 
was a widow, married her, and took control of her camels and prop- 

When he went to Palestine he lived with bothjews and Christians, 
and hunted for certain writings among them. He had an epileptic 
seizure, and when his wife noticed this she became very distressed, for 
she was noble and had now been joined to a man who was not only 
helpless but epileptic as well. He turned to conciliating her, saying, “I 
see a vision of the angel known as Gabriel, and faint and fall because 
I cannot bear up under the sight of him.” She had a friend living there 
who was a monk exiled for false belief, and she told him everything, 
even the angel’s name. 

He wanted to reassure her, and told her, “He has spoken the 
truth, for this angel is sent to all prophets.” She was the first to accept 
the false abbot’s statement; she believed in Muhammad, and told other 
women of her tribe that he was a prophet. Then from women the 
report spread to men: the first was Abu Bakr, whom Muhammad left 
behind as successor. At last his heresy conquered the land of Ethrib 90 
by force. It had at first been practiced secretly for ten years, during 
warfare for another ten, and openly for nine. 

Muhammad taught those who harkened to him that he who killed 
an enemy or was killed by an enemy entered paradise. He said paradise 
was a place of carnal eating, drinking, and intercourse with women: 
there were rivers of wine, honey, and milk, and the women there were 
not like those here, but of another sort, and intercourse was longlast- 
ing and its pleasure enduring. He said many other prodigal and foolish 
things. Also, his followers were to have sympathy for one another and 
help those treated unjustly. 

335 In the same year — the fourth indiction — on November 7 a son, 
David, was born to Herakleios in the east. On the same day was also 
born Herakleios, the son of little Herakleios (also known as Constan- 

88. The eponymous ancestor of Muhammad’s tribe. 

89. This is the Byzantine name for the Himyarites, a pre-Muslim Arab 
state in the Yemen. 

90. That is, Medina, to which Muhammad emigrated from Mecca in 622. 




cine), who was the son of the great Herakleios. He was baptized on 
November 3 of the fifth indiction by patriarch Sergios at Blakhernai. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6123 (SEPTEMBER 1, 631— AUGUST 31, 632) 

Arab ruler Abu Bakr: 3 years 
Bishop of Jerusalem Modestus: 2 years 
6123. 623. 22. 1. 23. 1. 13. 

In this year the Persians rose up against each other in civil war. 

In the same year the king of the Indians sent Herakleios con- 
gratulatory gifts for his victory over the Persians: pearls and a number 
of precious stones. 

Muhammad was already dead, but had appointed four emirs to 
attack Christians of Arab race. As they wanted to attack the Arabs on 
the day of their own sacrifice to idols, they came to a country called 
Moukheon, in which place was the vicar 91 Theodore. When the vicar 
learned this from his servant Koutabas, who was a man of Quraysh, he 
assembled all the desert guards. He determined from the Saracen the 
day and hour on which the emirs intended to attack, and attacked them 
at a place called Mothous. He killed three of them and most of their 
army, but one emir, Khalid (whom they call the sword of God 92 ), got 

Some of the nearby Arabs received a small subsidy from the Em- 
peror for guarding the mouths of the desert. 93 At that time a eunuch 
came to distribute the soldiers’ wages. The Arabs came to get their 
pay, as was customary, but the eunuch drove them away, saying, “The 
Emperor pays his soldiers with difficulty; with how much more to such 
336 dogs as you?” The oppressed Arabs went to their fellow-tribesmen 
and showed them the route to the land of Gaza, which is the mouth 
of the desert for Mt. Sinai and is very rich. 

91. Under Diocletian’s reforms at the end of the third century, the 
Empire was divided into about a dozen dioceses, each of which was composed 
of several small provinces and administered by a vicar. These officials, between 
provincial governors and the great praetorian prefects in authority, were par- 
tially removed from the governmental hierarchy by Justinian I in the 530s. 

92. Theophanes must have had some source ultimately derived from the 
Arabs to know this, for it was among them that Khalid ibn al-Walid bore this 
title, which was given him by Muhammad. Although he fought against the 
Muslims until 629, Khalid became one of their greatest marshals. He helped 
defeat the Arabs who tried to apostasize after Muhammad’s death, and went 
on to conquer Syria and Palestine and aid in the attack on Persia. 

93. That is, the mouths of the desert wadis or dry riverbeds (my thanks 
to S. Thomas Parker for this suggestion). 


ANNUS MUNDI 6124 (SEPTEMBER 1, 632— AUGUST 31, 633) 
a.d. 624 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 23 
Arab ruler Abu Bakr: 3 years: year 2 
Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 24 
Bishop of Jerusalem Modestus: 2 years: year 2 
Bishop of Alexandria George: 14 years: year 14 

In this year Abu Bakr sent out four generals who, as I said before, 
were shown the way by the Arabs— they took Hira and the whole land 
of Gaza. Sergios had just come from Palestinian Caesarea with a few 
soldiers; he engaged the Arabs in battle but was the first one killed. So 
were three hundred of his soldiers. The Arabs withdrew after a deci- 
sive victory, having taken many prisoners and much booty. 

In the same year there was an earthquake in Palestine. Also, a sign 
— known as an “apparition” — appeared in the southern sky. It was 
sword-shaped, and remained for thirty days, stretching from south to 
north and predicting the Arab conquest. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6125 (SEPTEMBER 1, 633-AUGUST 31, 634) 

Bishop of Jerusalem Sophronios: 3 years 
Bishop of Alexandria Cyrus: 10 years 
24. 3. 25. 1. 1. 

In this year Abu Bakr died; he had been caliph for two and a half 
years. Umar took over the rule. He dispatched an army against 
337 Arabia, 94 which took Bostra, among other cities, and advanced as far 
as Gabitha. Herakleios’ brother Theodore engaged it but was de- 
feated; he went to the Emperor at Edessa. The Emperor appointed 
another general, Baanes by name, and dispatched the sakellarios 
Theodore with a Roman force against the Arabs. Theodore met a host 
of Saracens near Emesa; he killed some of them (including their emir) 
and drove the rest all the way to Damascus. He camped there, by the 
Bardanesios River. But Herakleios had despaired and abandoned 
Syria; he took the precious wood from Jerusalem and went off to 
Constantinople. He transferred Baanes and the sakellarios Theodore 
(who had an army of 40,000 men) from Damascus to Emesa; they 
chased the Arabs from Emesa to Damascus. 

94. This refers only to the Byzantine province of Arabia, which is more 
or less contiguous with modern Jordan and southern Syria. 





ANNUS MUNDI 6126 (SEPTEMBER 1, 634— AUGUST 31, 635) 
a.d. 626 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 25 
Arab ruler Umar: 12 years: year 1 
Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 26 
Bishop of ferusalem Sophronios: 3 years: year 2 
Bishop of Alexandria Cyrus: 10 years : year 2 

In this year a countless host of Saracens left Arabia behind and 
campaigned in the vicinity of Damascus. When Baanes learned this he 
sent a message to the imperial sakellarios Theodore so he and his army 
could come help Baanes because of the Arabs’ numbers. The sakel- 
338 larios came to Baanes; they departed from Emesa and met the Arabs. 
On the first day of the engagement (it was the third day of the week, 
and the twenty-third of Loos 95 ) the sakellarios’ troops were defeated. 

Baanes’ men rebelled and chose him Emperor, renouncing Hera- 
kleios. Then the sakellarios’ troops withdrew; the Saracens found an 
opportunity to join battle. Since the south wind was blowing against 
the Romans, they were unable to face their foes because of the dust, 
and were defeated. They leaped into the Yarmuk River where it is 
narrow, and were destroyed there: both generals had had 40,000 men. 

Upon their decisive victory, the Saracens went to Damascus; they 
took it and the land of Phoenicia. They settled there and campaigned 
against Egypt. When Cyrus the bishop of Alexandria learned this he 
aided their onslaught. But he was afraid of their greed, and so made 
treaties which promised that Egypt would provide them 120,000 dena- 
rii per year and would send them gold up to that amount. While he 
furnished this for three years, Egypt had no share in destruction. But 
because Cyrus was giving the Saracens Egypt’s gold, he was de- 
nounced to the Emperor. Angry, Herakleios sent a message recalling 
him, and dispatched Manuel (an Armenian in race) as Augustal prefect. 

When a year had gone by, the Saracen tax collectors came to get 
their gold. Manuel drove them off unsuccessful, saying, “I am not 
weaponless Cyrus, to give you taxes; rather, I am armed.” After the tax 
collectors were gone, the Saracens assailed Egypt. They attacked 
Manuel and drove him away, though he and a few men held out at 
Alexandria. From that time on the Saracens levied tribute on Egypt. 

When he heard what had happened, Herakleios sent Cyrus back 
to Egypt to persuade the Arabs to withdraw on the terms of the first 
agreement. When Cyrus reached the Saracens’ camp he excused his 
breaking of the agreement on the grounds that it had not been his 

95. August 23. 

fault, and said that if they wanted he would confirm the former agree- 

339 ment with oaths. The Saracens were not persuaded by these argu- 
ments. They asked the bishop, “Could you gulp down that huge pil- 
lar?” He said, “That is impossible.” And they said, “Nor is it still 
possible for us to withdraw from Egypt.” 

ANNUS MUNDI 6127 (SEPTEMBER 1, 635-AUGUST 31, 636) 
a.d. 627 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 26 
Arab ruler Umar: 12 years: year 2 
Bishop of Constantinople Sergios: 29 years: year 27 
Bishop of Jerusalem Sophronios: 3 years: year 3 
Bishop of Alexandria Cyrus: 10 years: year 3 

In this year Umar campaigned against Palestine; after he had 
besieged the holy city for two years’ time he took it on terms. For 
Sophronios, the chief prelate of Jerusalem, negotiated a treaty for the 
security of all Palestine. Umar entered the holy city clad in a filthy 
camel-hair garment. When Sophronios saw him, he said, “In truth, this 
is the abomination of the desolation established in the holy place, 
which Daniel the prophet spoke of.” 96 With many tears, the champion 
of piety bitterly lamented over the Christian people. While Umar was 
in Jerusalem, the patriarch asked him to accept a muslin garment to 
wear, but he would not let himself wear it. Sophronios barely per- 
suaded him to do so until his own cloak was washed — then Umar gave 
it back to him once more and wore his own. In this year Sophronios 
died; he had been an ornament to the church ofjerusalem by his words 
and actions, and had struggled against the wicked doctrine of Hera- 
kleios and his monothelites Sergios and Pyrrhos. 

In this year Umar loosed into Syria lad, who subjected it all to the 

340 ANNUS MUNDI 6128 (SEPTEMBER 1, 636— AUGUST 31, 637) 
27. 3. 28. 4 . 97 

In this year John (whose surname was Kataias) the governor of 
Osrhoene came to lad at Chalcis. He arranged to give lad 100,000 
nomismata per year not to cross the Euphrates either in peace or war 
until the Roman had given up as much gold as he could. On these 

96. Daniel 9:27, 11:31, 12:1 1; cf. Matthew 24:15, 1 Maccabees 1:54,6:7. 

97. Theophanes now lacks information concerning the succession of the 
bishops ofjerusalem. 

3 8 



terms John went back to Edessa, raised the annual tribute, and sent it 
to lad. When Herakleios heard this he judged John culpable, as he had 
done it without imperial authorization. He recalled him and con- 
demned him to exile, in his place dispatching a general, Ptolemaios. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6129 (SEPTEMBER 1, 637— AUGUST 31, 638) 
28. 4. 29. 5. 

In this year the Arabs took Antioch. Umar dispatched Muawiyah 
as general and emir of all land under the Arabs, from Egypt to the 

ANNUS MUNDI 6130 (SEPTEMBER 1, 638— AUGUST 31, 639) 
a.d. 630 

Roman Emperor Herakleios: 31 years: year 29 
Arab ruler Umar: 12 years: year 5 
Bishop of Constantinople Pyrrhos: 3 years: year 1 
Bishop of Alexandria Cyrus: 10 years: year 6 

In this year lad crossed the Euphrates with his whole army. When 
he reached Edessa, the Edessans opened their city and gained a treaty 
for their land, their general, and the Romans with him. The Arabs went 
to Constantia; after besieging it, they took it in battle and killed three 
hundred Romans. From there they went to Daras, which they took in 
battle, killing many in it. Thus lad conquered all of Mesopotamia. 

341 ANNUS MUNDI 6131 (SEPTEMBER 1, 639— AUGUST 31, 640) 

30. 6. 2. 7. 

In this year the Arabs attacked Persia and came into conflict with 
the Persians. By their victory they overpowered and subjected all the 
Persians. The Persian king Hormisdas fled to the interior, abandoning 
his palaces. The Saracens captured all the royal gear and Khosroes’ 
daughters, who were brought to Umar. 

In the same year Umar ordered his entire domain registered: there 
was a census of men, flocks, and agricultural products. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6132 (SEPTEMBER 1, 640-AUGUST 31, 641) 

31. 7. 3. 8. 

In this year — the fourteenth indiction — the Emperor Herakleios 
died of dropsy in March, after ruling for thirty years and ten months. 


After him, his soil Constantine was Emperor for four months. He died 
when his stepmother Martina and the patriarch Pyrrhos poisoned him. 
Then Martina’s son Heraklonas ruled along with his mother. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6133 (SEPTEMBER 1, 641— AUGUST 31, 642) 

Roman Emperor Heraklonas: 6 months 
Bishop of Constantinople Paul: 12 years 
1. 8. 1. 9. 

In this year Muawiyah took Palestinian Caesarea after a seven-year 
siege; he killed 7,000 Romans there. 

In this year the senate ousted Heraklonas, his mother Martina, 
and Valentinus. They cut out Martina s tongue, slit Heraklonas’ nose, 
and exiled them, elevating to the throne Constantine’s son Constans, 
who ruled for twenty-seven years. After Pyrrhos was expelled from the 
342 episcopacy, Paul (a priest and church administrator) was chosen patri- 
arch of Constantinople in October of the fifteenth indiction. He was 
bishop for twelve years. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6134 (SEPTEMBER 1, 642— AUGUST 31, 643) 
a.d. 634 

Roman Emperor Constans: 27 years: year 1 
Arab ruler Umar: 12 years: year 9 
Bishop of Constantinople Paul: 12 years: year 2 
Bishop of Alexandria Cyrus : 10 years: year 10 

In this year Constans, who had become Emperor, spoke to the 
senate: “After my father Constantine was born, he was Emperor with 
his own father (my grandfather) Herakleios for a long time during 
Herakleios’ life, but after him for a very short while, for the envy of 
his stepmother Martina ended his high hopes and his life. She did 
this for the sake of Heraklonas, who was her illegitimate son by Hera- 
kleios. 98 It was mostly your decision which expelled her and her son 
from the imperial power, and your great dignity knows it well. 
Therefore I call on you to be advisors and judges for the common 
welfare of our subjects.” After he spoke thus, he dismissed the sen- 
ate, honoring it with numerous gifts. 

98. See note 40 above. If the marriage of Herakleios and Martina was 
incestuous, it was therefore invalid, and the issue from it illegitimate. 




ANNUS MUNDI 6135 (SEPTEMBER 1, 643— AUGUST 31, 644) 

2. 10. 3. 11 [sic]. 

In this year Umar began to build a temple in Jerusalem; the build- 
ing would not stand, but fell down. When he asked why, thejews told 
him the reason: “If you do not tear down the cross on top of the church 
on the Mount of Olives, your building will not stay up.” Therefore the 
cross there was tom down, and thus their building arose. For this 
reason the Christ-haters tore down many crosses. 

343 ANNUS MUNDI 6136 (SEPTEMBER 1, 644— AUGUST 31, 645) 

Bishop of Alexandria Peter: 10 years 

3. 11. 4. 1. 

In this year Valentinian the patrician rebelled against Constans. 
The Emperor dispatched a man who killed him and brought his army 
back to its allegiance. 

There was an eclipse of the sun on Saturday the fifth of Dios at 
the ninth hour." 

ANNUS MUNDI 6137 (SEPTEMBER 1, 645— AUGUST 31, 646) 

4. 12. 5. 2. 

In this year Umar, the ruler of the Saracens, was assassinated by 
a Persian convert on the fifth of Dios. He found Umar worshiping and 
stabbed him in the belly with his sword, taking his life in this way after 
he had been caliph for twelve years. After Umar his relative Uthman 
the son of Affan came to power. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6138 (SEPTEMBER 1, 646— AUGUST 31, 647) 

Arab ruler Uthman: 10 years 

5. 1. 6. 3. 

In this year the Africans rebelled under their patrician Gregory. 

99. November 5, 644, at about three p.m. — for Theophanes’ reports on 
eclipses, see especially Robert R. Newton, Medieval Chronicles and the Rotation 
of the Earth (Baltimore, 1972), 531-532, 534-536, 542-547. 



ANNUS MUNDI 6139 (SEPTEMBER 1, 647— AUGUST 31, 648) 
a.d. 639 

Roman Emperor Constans: 27 years: year 6 
Arab ruler Uthman: 10 years: year 2 
Bishop of Constantinople Paul: 12 years: year 7 
Bishop of Alexandria Peter: 10 years: year 4 

In this year there was a violent windstorm, which uprooted many 
plants and pulled up huge trees by the roots. 

In this year the Saracens attacked Africa; they engaged and routed 
the rebel Gregory, slew his men, and drove him from Africa. After 
levying tribute on the Africans, they withdrew. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6140 (SEPTEMBER 1, 648— AUGUST 31, 649) 

7. 3. 8. 5. 

In this year Muawiyah attacked Cyprus with 1,700 ships. He took 
344 and devastated Constantia and the whole island. When he heard the 
cubicularius 100 Kakorizos was moving against him with a large Roman 
force, he sailed across to Arados. 101 He brought his naval expedition 
to anchor at Castellus, a small town on an island, and tried to take it 
with all sorts of engines. When he was unable to do so, he sent a bishop 
named Thomarikhos to the people of Castellus to terrify them into 
handing over their city and making a treaty with him, and also into 
leaving the island. When the bishop arrived they seized him as soon 
as he came in, and did not yield to Muawiyah. Since the siege of Arados 
was useless, Muawiyah retreated to Damascus when winter came. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6141 (SEPTEMBER 1, 649— AUGUST 31, 650) 

8. 4. 9. 6. 

In this year Muawiyah mustered his forces and began a great 
campaign against Arados. He took it on his agreement to settle its 
inhabitants wherever they wished. He burned the town, destroyed its 
walls, and left its island uninhabited up to the present. 

In the same year Martin the pope convened a synod at Rome 
against the monothelites. 

100. The cubicularius was the imperial chamberlain, and the holder of 
the office was almost always a eunuch; eunuchs were trusted to be close to the 
Emperors and their families because they were themselves ineligible for the 
throne. Because of the intimate relationship the cubicularii had with their 
imperial masters, they were often of great influence and power. 

101. Arados is a coastal city of Phoenicia. 




ANNUS MUNDI 6142 (SEPTEMBER 1, 650— AUGUST 31, 651) 

9. 5. 10. 7. 

In this year the commander Busr and his Arabs campaigned 
against Isauria. Besides killing many people, he took prisoners, return- 
ing with 5,000 men in bonds. The Emperor sent Prokopios to Mua- 
wiyah to ask for peace. There was peace for two years; at Damascus 
Muawiyah received as a hostage Gregory the son bf Theodore. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6143 (SEPTEMBER 1, 651— AUGUST 31, 652) 

10 . 6 . 11 . 8 . 

In this year Pasagnathes the patrician of the Armenians rebelled 
against the Emperor. He made agreements with Muawiyah and even 
gave him his own son. When the Emperor heard this he advanced as 
far as Kappadokian Caesarea but, losing hope for Armenia, returned. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6144 (SEPTEMBER 1, 652— AUGUST 31, 653) 
a.d. 644 

Roman Emperor Constans: 27 years: year 11 
Arab ruler Uthman: 10 years: year 7 
Bishop of Constantinople Paul: 12 years: year 12 
Bishop of Alexandria Peter: 10 years: year 9 

345 In this year Herakleios’ nephew Gregory died at Heliopolis. His 
body was embalmed in myrrh and brought to Constantinople. 

In the same year dust came down from the sky, and terror de- 
scended on mankind. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6145 (SEPTEMBER 1, 653— AUGUST 31, 654) 

Bishop of Constantinople Peter: 12 years (Paul died and Pyrrhos was 
again restored for four months and twenty-three days) 

12 . 8 . 1 . 10 . 

In this year Muawiyah over ran Rhodes and destroyed the Colos- 
sus of Rhodes 1,370 years after its erection. 102 AJewish merchant from 
Edessa bought it and carried off its bronze on nine hundred camels. 

In the same year the Arab general Habib attacked and ravaged 
Armenia. Meeting the Roman general Maurianos, he chased him all 
the way to the Caucasus Mountains. 

102. This is incorrect; the Colossus of Rhodes was built in 280 b.c., 934 
years before Muawiyah’s arrival. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6146 (SEPTEMBER 1, 654— AUGUST 31, 655) 
13. 9. 5. 103 

In this year Muawiyah ordered a great force of ships readied 
for an expedition against Constantinople. All this preparation took 
place in Phoenician Tripolis. Two Christ-loving brothers — the sons 
of Bucinator— who were staying in Tripolis noticed this. Overcome 
by divineVzeal, they hurried to the city’s prison (which held a host 
of Roman prisoners), broke open its gates, and rushed against the 
city’s emir. They killed him and his men, burned all their gear, and 
sailed to Romania. However, they did not stop the preparation by 
their action; Muawiyah was campaigning against Kappadokian Cae- 
sarea, but he appointed Abu ’1-Awar commander of the naval expedi- 


Abu ’1-Awar came to Phoenix in Lykia, where he fought a sea- 
battle against the Emperor Constans and his Roman expeditionary 
force. On the night before the Emperor was going to fight at sea, he 
saw himself at Thessalonike in a dream. When he awoke he told this 
to a man who could interpret dreams. He said, “Emperor, would that 
you had not been asleep and had not seen this dream! For your being 
in Thessalonike means, ‘Give the win to someone else.’ 104 That is, 
victory inclines toward your enemy.” I-Q'Vcl 

Although he had not made any preparations for the naval engage 
ment, the Emperor ordered the Roman fleet into combat. When the 
two forces joined battle, the Romans were defeated, and the sea was 
ovTv mixed with Roman blood. The Emperor clothed SQrpeone else in his 
garments. Then one of Bucmatnr sscpis leaped onto the l 
he picked up the Emperor andliurle 


imperiakshiR; „ 

im onto another vessel, unex- 

pectedly saving him. He himself stayed on the imperial ship; the noble 
fellow gave up his life for the Emperor. After he had killed, m^y, the 
enemy slew him and the man wearing the imperial raiment. But the 
Emperor, who had been put to flight like this, was saved. He aban-~ 
doned all his men and sailed away to Constantinople. 

t Q/V'Jl 

ANNUS MUNDI 6147 (SEPTEMBER 1, 655— AUGUST 31, 656) 
14. 10. 3. 

In this year the Arab ruler Uthman was assassinated by the inhabi- 
tants of Medina. He had been caliph for ten years. There was civil strife 
among the Arabs: those in the Arabian desert wanted Ali the nephew 

103. Theophanes now loses information about the bishops of Alex- 
andria and their succession. 

104. This is a pun in the Greek, unfortunately altogether untranslatable. 




of Ali, who was Muhammad’s son-in-law, while those in Syria and 
Egypt favored Muawiyah, who won and ruled for twenty-four years. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6148 (SEPTEMBER 1, 656— AUGUST 31, 657) 

Arab ruler Muawiyah: 24 years 

15. 1.4. 

347 In this year Muawiyah campaigned against Ali. Both assembled in 
the interior of Barbalissos: at Caesarium near the Euphrates. Mua- 
wiyah’s men, who were stronger, controlled the water supply, and Ali’s 
men deserted as they grew thirsty. Muawiyah had not wanted to fight 
but to gain the victory without effort. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6149 (SEPTEMBER 1, 657— AUGUST 31, 658) 

16. 2. 5. 

In this year the Emperor campaigned against Sklavinia; 1 ^ he took 
many prisoners and brought many people under his control. 

Also in the same year occurred the matter of the holy Maximus 
and his pupils: they were struggling for the true faith against mono- 
theletism. Constans could not shift them to his evil belief. He cut out 
the saint’s tongue, which was wise in God’s ways, and cut off his right 
hand, since Maximus (along with his pupils the Anastasioi) had written 
a great deal in opposition to the Emperor’s impiety. They wrote the 
exact truth, as those who love learning know. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6150 (SEPTEMBER 1, 658 — AUGUST 31, 659) 

n 17. 3. 6. vl I >/- ' n , - J rriP-, 

c ‘ 1 ^ hls year 'a? arrangement was made between) the Romans and 

Arabs. Because of disorder, Muawiyah sent an embassy so the Arabs 
could pay the Romans 1,000 nomismata, a horse, and a slave fief day.'' 

Also in this year — the second indiction — there was a great earth- 
quake and collapse in Palestine and Syria in the month of Daisios 106 
In the same year the holy pope of Rome, Martin, was exiled He 
had struggled nobly for the truth and became a confessor, dying in 
eastern regions. 

Maurice ^ ° f th ^, Balkans overrun by the Slavs since the death of 

Maurice in 602, and especially since the failure of the Avar-Persian siege of 
Constantinople in 626, a failure which fatally weakened the Slavs’ Avar over- 

106. June. 



ANNUS MUNDI 6151 (SEPTEMBER 1, 659— AUGUST 31, 660) 

18. 4. 7. 

In this year Constans killed his brother Theodore. 

While the Arabs were at Sapphis Ali the Persian was assassinated. 
Muawiyah became sole ruler; he lived at Damascus in royal style and 
stored up his monetary treasures there. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6152 (SEPTEMBER 1, 660— AUGUST 31, 661) 

19. 5. 8. 

In this year an Arab heresy, that of the Kharijites, 107 appeared. 
Muawiyah overpowered them, humbling the inhabitants of Persia but 
348 favoring those of Syria. He called the ones Isamitai and the others 
Herakitai. He gave the Isamitai a donative of two hundred nomismata, 
but gave the Herakitai only thirty nomismata. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6153 (SEPTEMBER 1, 661— AUGUST 31, 662) 

20. 6. 9. 

In this year the Emperor abandoned Constantinople and moved 
to Sicilian Syracuse; he wanted to transfer the capital to Rome. He sent 
a messenger to fetch his wife and three sons Constantine, Herakleios, 
and Tiberius, but the Byzantines would not let them go. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6154 (SEPTEMBER 1, 662— AUGUST 31, 663) 

21. 7. 40. 

In this year the Arabs campaigned against Romania, taking many 
prisoners and devastating many places. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6155 (SEPTEMBER 1, 663— AUGUST 31, 664) 

22 . 8 . 11 . 

In this year part of Sicily was captured and, at their wish, its 
inhabitants were settled at Damascus. 

107. The Kharijites are Muslim extremists. They insisted it was the duty 
ol all Muslims at all times to inspire men to do good and prevent them from 
doing evil, even at the cost of life itself. They were not prepared under any 
conditions to let circumstances alter cases. The Kharijites saw those less ex- 
treme than themselves as no true Muslims, and physically attacked them. The 
sect survives to this day, but as a tiny minority in Islam. 


the chronicle of theophanes 

ANNUS MUNDI 6156 (SEPTEMBER 1, 664— AUGUST 31, 665) 

23 . 9 . 12 . 

In this year there was a heresy concerning fasting 
Also, Abd ar-Rahman the son of Khalid attacked Romania; he 
wintered thereafter devastating many towns. The Sklavinoi went over 
to him and 5,000 went down to Syria with him. They were settled in 
the village of Seleukobolos near Apamea. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6157 (SEPTEMBER 1, 665-AUGUST 31, 666) 

Bishop of Constantinople Thomas: 3 years 

24 . 10 . 1 . 

In this year Busr attacked Romania. 

Also, Thomarikhos the bishop of Apamea died, and the bishop of 
iimesa was burned alive. r 

ANNUS MUNDI 6158 (SEPTEMBER 1, 666-AUGUST 31, 667) 

25 . 11 . 2 . 

, If 1 " thl T" B n Sr i again attacked Romania > devastating the territory 
of Hexapolis. Fudhala wintered there. y 

ANNUS MUNDI 6159 (SEPTEMBER 1, 667-AUGUST 31, 668) 

26 . 12 . 3 . 

In this year the general of the Armeniacs Saborios (who was of 
349 "1 r e) rebdled agamst the Emperor Constans. He sent his 

pr ° mismg t0 Sub J ect Romania to him if 
he would ally with Saborios against the Emperor. When the Emperor’s 

son Constantine 10 * learned of this, he sent Andrew the cubicularius to 
Muawiyah with gifts so he would not cooperate with the rebel, 
fi i ! u dre ! reached Damascus he found Sergios had got there 
first, but Muawiyah was pretending to be sympathetic to the Emperor. 

ergios was sitting in front of Muawiyah when Andrew came in, and 
stood up when he saw Andrew. 

Muawiyah reproached him: “What are you afraid of?” Sergios 
answered that he had done this out offeree of habit. Muawiyah turned 
and asked Andrew, “What do you want?” 

He answered, “That you give aid against the rebel.” 

fa, her C™™™ ^ “ C ~ * I* 

4 8 


“You are both enemies,” said Muawiyah. “I will help him who 
gives me most.” 

Andrew told him, “You should not doubt, Caliph, that it is better 
for you to get a little from the Emperor than a great deal from a rebel. 
Do this after all, as you are friendly.” Andrew was silent after this. 

Muawiyah said, “I will think this over,” and ordered both of them 
to go away. He called Sergios in private and told him, “You should not 
bow to Andrew any more, or else you will accomplish nothing.” 

On the next day Sergios got there before Andrew and sat in front 
of Muawiyah. When Andrew came in, Sergios did not stand as he had 
the day before. Andrew stared at him, terribly cursing and threatening 
him. He said, “If I live, I promise to show you who I am!” 

Sergios said, “I will not rise for you, for you are neither a man nor 
a woman.” 

Muawiyah stopped them both, then said to Andrew, “Do you 
agree to give as much as Sergios?” 

“How much is that?” Andrew asked. 

He will furnish the Arabs the income from the public revenues,” 
Muawiyah said. 

Andrew said, “Good heavens, Muawiyah, you advise me to give 
you the body and keep its shadow. As you please; line up with Sergios, 
for I will not do this. Besides, for God’s sake we will neglect you and 
take refuge and put our hopes in Him, since He is more able than you 
350 to protect the Romans.” After he had said this, he told Muawiyah, 
“Take care!” 

He went from Damascus to Melitene because the rebel was in that 
area; Sergios would also be traveling there. When he came to Arabis- 
sos he met the officer who guarded the mountain passes, for that man 
had not gone over to the rebel. He ordered him to watch carefully for 
Sergios’ return so he could bring Sergios to Andrew. Once he had 
made sure about Sergios, Andrew went to Amnesia and told the Em- 
peror what had been done. 

Sergios had entered into agreements with Muawiyah over what 
seemed good; as allies for Saborios he had gained the Arab general 
Fudhala and barbarian aid. Sergios traveled ahead to Fudhala, then 
happily went off to Saborios. But in the mountain passes he encoun- 
tered Andrew’s troops, who captured him and brought him, bound, to 
Andrew. When he saw Andrew, Sergios threw himself at his feet and 
begged him to have mercy. 

Said Andrew to him, “You are Sergios, who were so proud of your 
genitals in front of Muawiyah, and you called me effeminate. Weill 
Now your genitals are no good to you at all, and will even t 
death.” He ordered Sergios castrated, then hung him oh a st. 

When Constantine heard that Fudhala had come to ally w 



ANNUS MUNDI 6156 (SEPTEMBER 1, 664— AUGUST 31, 665) 

23 . 9 . 12 . 

In this year there was a heresy concerning fasting. 

Also, Abd ar-Rahman the son of Khalid attacked Romania; he 
wintered theie after devastating many towns. The Sklavinoi went over 
to him, and 5,000 went down to Syria with him. They were settled in 
the village of Seleukobolos near Apamea. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6157 (SEPTEMBER 1, 665— AUGUST 31, 666) 

Bishop of Constantinople Thomas: 3 years 

24 . 10 . 1 . 

In this year Busr attacked Romania. 

Also, Thomarikhos the bishop of Apamea died, and the bishop of 
Emesa was burned alive. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6158 (SEPTEMBER 1, 666— AUGUST 31, 667) 

25 . 11 . 2 . 

In this year Busr again attacked Romania, devastating the territory 
of Hexapolis. Fudhala wintered there. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6159 (SEPTEMBER I, 667— AUGUST 31, 668) 

26 . 12 . 3 . 

In this year the general of the Armeniacs Saborios (who was of 
Persian race) rebelled against the Emperor Constans. He sent his 
349 general Sergios to Muawiyah, promising to subject Romania to him if 
he would ally with Saborios against the Emperor. When the Emperor’s 
son Constantine 108 learned of this, he sent Andrew the cubicularius to 
Muawiyah with gifts so he would not cooperate with the rebel. 

When Andrew reached Damascus he found Sergios had got there 
first, but Muawiyah was pretending to be sympathetic to the Emperor. 
Sergios was sitting in front of Muawiyah when Andrew came in, and 
stood up when he saw Andrew. 

Muawiyah reproached him: “What are you afraid of?” Sergios 
answered that he had done this out of force of habit. Muawiyah turned 
and asked Andrew, “What do you want?” 

He answered, “That you give aid against the rebel.” 

108. Constantine IV administered affairs at Constantinople while his 
tather Constans II was in the west. 



“You are both enemies,” said Muawiyah. “I will help him who 
gives me most.” 

Andrew told him, “You should not doubt, Caliph, that it is better 
for you to get a little from the Emperor than a great deal from a rebel. 
Do this after all, as you are friendly.” Andrew was silent after this. 

Muawiyah said, “I will think this over,” and ordered both of them 
to go away. He called Sergios in private and told him, “You should not 
bow to Andrew any more, or else you will accomplish nothing.” 

On the next day Sergios got there before Andrew and sat in front 
of Muawiyah. When Andrew came in, Sergios did not stand as he had 
the day before. Andrew stared at him, terribly cursing and threatening 
him. He said, “If I live, I promise to show you who I am!” 

Sergios said, “I will not rise for you, for you are neither a man nor 
a woman.” 

Muawiyah stopped them both, then said to Andrew, “Do you 
agree to give as much as Sergios?” 

“How much is that?” Andrew asked. 

“He will furnish the Arabs the income from the public revenues,” 
Muawiyah said. 

Andrew said, “Good heavens, Muawiyah, you advise me to give 
you the body and keep its shadow. As you please; line up with Sergios, 
for I will not do this. Besides, for God’s sake we will neglect you and 
take refuge and put our hopes in Him, since He is more able than you 
to protect the Romans.” After he had said this, he told Muawiyah, 
“Take care!” 

He went from Damascus to Melitene because the rebel was in that 
area; Sergios would also be traveling there. When he came to Arabis- 
sos he met the officer who guarded the mountain passes, for that man 
had not gone over to the rebel. He ordered him to watch carefully for 
Sergios’ return so he could bring Sergios to Andrew. Once he had 
made sure about Sergios, Andrew went to Amnesia and told the Em- 
peror what had been done. 

Sergios had entered into agreements with Muawiyah over what 
seemed good; as allies for Saborios he had gained the Arab general 
Fudhala and barbarian aid. Sergios traveled ahead to Fudhala, then 
happily went off to Saborios. But in the mountain passes he encoun- 
tered Andrew’s troops, who captured him and brought him, bound, to 
Andrew. When he saw Andrew, Sergios threw himself at his feet and 
begged him to have mercy. 

Said Andrew to him, “You are Sergios, who were so proud of your 
genitals in front of Muawiyah, and you called me effeminate. Well! 
Now your genitals are no good to you at all, and will even be your 
death.” He ordered Sergios castrated, then hung him oh a stake. 

When Constantine heard that Fudhala had come to ally with Sa- 



borios, he dispatched a Roman force under the patrician Nikephoros 
to oppose the rebel. Saborios was in Adrianople readying himself for 
battle, as he had learned Nikephoros was approaching. It happened 
that one day he left the city on horseback, as was his wont. He whipped 
his horse while near the gate. Refusing to obey the reins, it dashed his 
head against the gate and evilly put an end to his life. Thus God gave 
the Emperor victory. 

Fudhala learned everything when he reached He'xapolis, and was 
at a loss. He sent Muawiyah a message asking for help because the 
351 Romans were at peace. Muawiyah sent his son Yezid to him at the head 
of a host of barbarians. The two men advanced to Chalcedon, taking 
many prisoners; they captured Phrygian Amorion. Leaving it a garri- 
son of 5,000 armed men, they returned to Syria. 

After winter came, the Emperor dispatched the same cubicularius 
Andrew, who arrived on a night of heavy snow. His men used stakes 
to climb up onto the wall, and got into Amorion. They killed all 5,000 
Arabs, and not one of them was left. 

In the same winter there was a flood at Edessa, and many perished. 
Also, a sign appeared in the sky. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6160 (SEPTEMBER 1, 668— AUGUST 31, 669) 

Bishop of Constantinople John: 6 years. 

6160. 660. 27. 13. 1. 

In this year the Emperor Constans was assassinated in Sicily at the 
Syracusan bath-house called Daphne. This was the reason: the Byzan- 
tines had hated him after he killed his brother Theodore, and even 
more after he brought the holy pope of Rome, Martin, to Constantino- 
ple and exiled him to the Cherson. He had also cut out the tongue and 
cut off the hand of the brilliant Maximus the confessor, and had con- 
demned many of the orthodox to torture, exile, and confiscation be- 
cause they would not follow his heresy. He had also given over to 
torture and exile the two Anastasioi, who were disciples of Maximus 
the confessor and martyr. For these reasons, then, he was mightily 
hated by everyone. 

He grew fearful and wanted to transfer the capital to Rome, for 
which he even wanted the Empress and his three sons to depart from 
Constantinople. However, Andrew the cubicularius and Theodore of 
Koloneia foiled his plan. He spent six years in Sicily. 109 

As he entered the aforementioned bath-house, his servant (a cer- 
tain Andrew son of Troilos) went in with him. As the Emperor began 

109. He had fought the Lombards in Italy, and was now directing Byzan- 
tine operations against the Arabs attacking Carthage and the surviving Roman 
possessions in North Africa. 



to wash himself, Andrew picked up the soap dish, hit him over the 

352 head, and ran away at once. After the Emperor had been in the bath- 
house for some time, the men outside rushed in to find him dead. Once 
they had buried him, they named Mizizios — an Armenian — Emperor, 
for he was very handsome and in the full bloom of youth. 

When Constantine heard of his father’s death he overran Sicily 
with a huge naval expedition. He overcame Mizizios and executed him 
along with his father’s murderers. Once he had stabilized the western 
lands, he hurried back to Constantinople and became Roman Em- 
peror, with his brothers Tiberius and Herakleios as co-Emperors. 110 

ANNUS MUNDI 6161 (SEPTEMBER 1, 669— AUGUST 31, 670) 

Roman Emperor Constantine: 17 years 
1. 14. 2. 

In this year Constantine became Emperor (with his brothers). 

The Saracens attacked Africa and, as they say, took 80,000 prison- 

The troops of the Anatolic theme 111 came to Chrysopolis, saying, 
“We believe in a Trinity: let us crown the three.” 112 Constantine grew 
alarmed, for he alone had been crowned: his brothers had no rank at 
all. He sent out the patrician Theodore of Koloneia, who harangued 
the men and put them to flight in this way: he took their leaders into 
the city so they could take counsel with the senate and do what they 
decided. But the Emperor immediately hanged some of them at 
Sykai; 113 seeing this, the Anatolic troops were dishonored, and went 
back to their own land in dismay. The Emperor slit his brothers’ noses. 

353 ANNUS MUNDI 6162 (SEPTEMBER 1, 670— AUGUST 31, 671) 
a.d. 662 

Roman Emperor Constantine: 1 7 years: year 2 
Arab ruler Muawiyah: 24 years: year 15 
Bishop of Constantinople John: 6 years: year 3 

In this year there was a harsh winter, and many men and beasts 
were endangered. Fudhala wintered at Kyzikos. 

1 10. All three sons of Constans II had been crowned before he left for 
the west. 

111. The Anatolic theme extended across central Asia Minor from the 
Aegean coast to the Taurus mountains. 

112. Once Constans II was dead, Constantine IV gathered all power into 
his own hands; his brothers Tiberius and Herakleios had no authority what- 

1 13. A suburb of Constantinople on the European shore, just across the 
Golden Horn from the city; it was also known as Galata. 

5 1 


ANNUS MUNDI 6163 (SEPTEMBER 1, 671— AUGUST 31, 672) 

3. 16. 4. 

In this year Busr attacked, took many prisoners, and withdrew. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6164 (SEPTEMBER 1, 672— AUGUST 31, 673) 

4. 17. 5. 

In this year in March (or Dystros) a rainbow appeared in the sky, 
and all mankind shuddered. Everyone said it was the end of the world. 

In this year the deniers of Christ readied a great expedition. They 
sailed to and wintered in Kilikia; Muhammad son of Abd Allah was at 
Smyrna, and Qais in Kilikia and Lykia. Muawiyah also sent the emir 
Khalid with yet another expedition to help them. Also, there was a 
plague in Egypt. 

When Constantine learned of the movement (of God’s enemies 
against Constantinople, he prepared huge two-storied warships 
equipped with Greek fire 114 and siphon-carrying warships, 115 ordering 
them to anchor in the Proklianesian harbor of the Caesarium. 116 



5. 18. 6. ^ \ 

H V V»ovL/V v p) 

In this year the expedition^ of the enemies of God anchored in 
Thracian territory from (he i heights of Hebdomon known as Magnaura 
on the west to the cape oFKykl obion on the east. 117 All day long from 
dawn to dusk there was combat from the outworks of the Golden 

Gate 118 to Kyklobion; both sides were thrusting and counterthrusting. 
They continued these struggles from April to September. 

The Arabs retreated to Kyzikos, which they had taken, to winter 
there. In spring they set out in the same way to meet the Christians in 
sea-battle. They did the same thing for seven years, 119 but with the aid 

114. Invented about this time, Greek fire was so efficiently kept a state 
secret by the Byzantines that its precise composition still causes scholarly 
debate. It was definitely a flammable liquid which would burn on the surface 
of the sea; a modern analog might be napalm. 

115. The “siphon” was a metal tube through which Greek fire 0 was 

discharged. | ■^vv'A, 

1 16. A small harbor located just east of the greatest of Constantinople’s 
harbors, that of Eleutherios (also known as that of Theodosios). 

117. Hebdomon and Kyklobion are suburbs on the European shore of 
the Propontis. Kyklobion is about a mile southwest of the walls of Constantino- 
ple; for Hebdomon, see above, note 31. 

118. The Golden Gate is the most southerly gate of the land wall of 
Constantinople, and that gate nearest Kyklobion. 

1 19. This counts from the first preparation of the Arabs’ force, annus 
mundi 6164 (a.d. 672/673). The siege of Constantinople proper lasted from 
674 to 678. 



^ ' °^J / 

of God and His Mother they were disgraced, ^expending a host of 

, . , . ~rr\ P-Cc° ^ , i 

warlike men. They retreated in great distress, with'severe wqunds- p 

inflicted on themselves. J , \ 

\ As their expedition was /going away after God had ruined it, it was 

J Overtaken by a tempestuous winter storm near Syllaion. It was shivered 
to atoms and completely destroyed. A second brother, Sufyan the son 
of Auf, joined battle with a Roman force under Florus, Petronas, and 
Kyprianos; 30,000 Arabs were killed. 

At that time Kalhuilyqs^-an artificer f^ojn, fleliapplis, fled to the 
Romans. He had devisfea a sea fire which lgnitetifrie Arab ships and 
burned them with all hands. Thus it was that the Romans returned with 
victory and discovered the sea fire. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6166 (SEPTEMBER 1, 674— AUGUST 31, 675) 

Bishop of Constantinople Constantine: 2 years: year 1 
6. 19. 1. 

In this year Abd Allah (the son of Qais) and Fudhala wintered in 

ANNUS MUNDI 6167 (SEPTEMBER 1, 675— AUGUST 31, 676) 

7. 20. 2. 

In this year a sign was seen in the sky on a sabbath day. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6168 (SEPTEMBER 1, 676— AUGUST 31, 677) 

Bishop of Constantinople Theodore: 2 years 

8 . 21 . 1 . 

In this year there was a great locust plague in Syria and Mesopo- 

355 ANNUS MUNDI 6169 (SEPTEMBER 1, 677— AUGUST 31, 678) 

a.d. 669 

Roman Emperor Constantine: 1 7 years: year 9 
Arab ruler Muawiyah: 24 years: year 22 
Bishop of Constantinople Theodore: 2 years: year 2 

In this year the Mardaites invaded Lebanon and conquered it from 
Mt. Mauros to the holy city, overpowering its most important centers. 
Many slaves, prisoners, and natives fled to them, so that in a little while 
there were many thousands of them. When Muawiyah and his advisers 



learned this they were quite discomfited, as they reckoned that the 
Roman Empire was watched over by God. 120 Muawiyah sent ambassa- 
dors to the autokrator Constantine asking for peace, and even pro- 
mised to pay the Emperor a yearly tribute. 

When the Emperor had received these envoys and heard their 
request, he sent the patrician John (surnamed Pitzigaudis) back to 
Syria with them, as he had spent a long time in government and was 
highly experienced and prudent. His purpose was to negotiate with 
the Arabs in a suitable fashion and to agree on peace terms. Mua- 
wiyah, who had convened an assembly of his emirs and members of 
the tribe of Quraysh, received him with great honor when he arrived 
in Syria. 

After long peace talks between them, it was agreed by each of the 
two that there should be a written peace accord with an oath. The 
terms were for annual tribute, with the Romans being furnished 3,000 
nomismata, fifty prisoners, and fifty high-bred horses by the Agarenes. 
These terms, agreed upon by both sides, created a firm peace between 
Romans and Arabs for thirty years. After they had made the two gen- 
eral written treaties (and the oaths) and had given copies to each other, 
this highly acclaimed man (who has been mentioned in many contexts) 
356 returned to the Emperor — with many gifts as well. 

When they learned of his, the inhabitants of the western regions 
— the Avar Khagan, the kings, rulers, and governors there, and the 
most eminent members of the western peoples — sent envoys with gifts 
to the Emperor, asking for confirmation of his peaceful love for them. 
He yielded to their request and acknowledged that he was quite defi- 
nitely at peace with them. There was absolute freedom from care in 
both east and west. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6170 (SEPTEMBER 1, 678— AUGUST 31, 679) 

Bishop of Constantinople George: 6 years 

6170 . 670 . 10 . 23 . 1 . 

In this year there was a severe earthquake in Mesopotamia. In it, 
the pulpit and the dome of the church at Edessa fell. Because of the 
Christians’ zealous exertions, Muawiyah rebuilt it. 

120. Besides being bandits and raiders, the Mardaites were also Chris- 


ANNUS MUNDI 6171 (SEPTEMBER 1, 679— AUGUST 31, 680) 
11 . 24 . 2 . 

In this year — the first indiction — Muawiyah the chief counselor of 
the Saracens died on the sixth of Artemisios. 121 He had been a general 
for twenty years, then caliph for twenty-four. His son Yezid succeeded 

Also, the Bulgarian people attacked Thrace at this time. It is 
necessary to discuss the ancient history of the Onogondur Bulgars and 
the Kotrigurs. In the area on the north side of the Black Sea (in the 
Sea of Azov) there enters a great river called the Atel, which descends 
from the Ocean through the land of the Sarmadans. The Don leads 
into it; the Don itself springs from the Iberian gates in the Caucasus 
mountains. From the mingling of the Don and the Atel (which 
357 branches before the Sea of Azov) comes the Kouphis River, 122 which 
delivers itself up at the end of the Black Sea near Nekropela at the cape 
known as the Ram’s Face. Sea and river are one and the same beyond 
the Sea of Azov, which leads into the Black Sea through the territory 
of the Cimmerian Bosporos. 123 The mourzoulin and other fish like it 
are caught in this river. 

In the area east of the lake lie Phanagouria and the Hebrews living 
there. 124 The ancient Great Bulgaria stretches from the Sea of Azov 
along the Kouphis River, where the xyston, a Bulgarian fish, is caught. 
The Kotrigurs, who are related to the Bulgars, also live there. 

During the period when Constantine was in the west, Kroba- 
tos, the lord of Bulgaria and the Kotrigurs, died. He left behind 
five sons, not at all imagining they would give up living by each 
other: for they were the masters of all they surveyed and were 
slaves to no other people. But a little while after his death these 
five sons separated from one another, along with the folk subject to 
each of them. 

The first son, called Batbaian, kept the injunction of his father and 
has remained in his ancestral lands until the present day. The second 
brother, called Kotragos, crossed the Don River and settled across 

121. May 6. 

122. A river north of the Danube, which flows into the Black Sea. 

123. The region of the Crimea or Cherson (see above, note 81). 

124. Phanagouria (the medieval Russian Tmutarakan and modern 
Taman) is near the eastern shore of the Strait of Kerch, which connects the 
Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. Mention of Hebrews in this Khazar-dominated 
area is particularly interesting, because later in the eighth century the Khazar 
nobility converted from paganism to Judaism. They may well have been trying 
to enjoy the benefits of a high religion without coming under the cultural 
influence either of Byzantium or the Arabs. 





from the first. The fourth and fifth brothers crossed the river Ister (that 
is, the Danube). One came to the land of the Avars in Pannonia, was 
subjected by the Avar Khagan, and remained there with his forces; the 
other reached the five cities by Ravenna and came under the control 
of Christians. 

Now the third brother, called Asparukh, crossed the Dnieper and 

358 the Dniester and reached the Oglos 125 (these rivers are north of the 
Danube), settling between them and the Danube. 'He thought the 
location secure and invincible from all sides, for it was marshy ahead 
and surrounded by rivers in other directions. It provided his people, 
who had been weakened by their division, relief from their enemies. 

After the Bulgars had been divided into five parts and thus dimin- 
ished, the great Khazar people came from the far interior of Berzilia 
in first Sarmatia and became the masters of the whole northern coast 
of the Black Sea. They made Batbaian, the first brother and ruler of 
first Bulgaria, their subject and have taken tribute from him 126 until the 

The Emperor Constantine was galled to learn that a foul, unclean 
tribe was living between the Danube and the Oglos, and that it had 
sallied forth to ravage the land near the Danube (that is, the land which 
is now ruled by the Bulgars, but then was held by Christians). He 
ordered all the thematic armies to cross over into Thrace, equipped 
an expeditionary force, and moved against the Bulgars by land and sea, 
attempting to dislodge them by force. He marshalled his army on the 
land by the Oglos and the Danube, anchoring his ships at a nearby 

When the Bulgars saw his battle-line’s numbers and density, they 
despaired of their salvation. They took refuge in the fastness which has 
been mentioned and, for the first three or four days, did not dare go 
outside this stronghold of theirs. But when the Romans did not join 
battle because of the swamp, the disgusting tribe guessed their empty 
vanity, regained its strength, and grew more courageous. 

Since the Emperor was suffering severely from gout, he had to 
withdraw to Mesembria for his usual baths with five warships and men 

359 friendly to him. He left behind his generals and army, ordering them 
to use their lances to drag the Bulgars out of their stronghold, and to 
attack them if they came out. If not, then his men were to besiege them 
and hold them in their defensive position. However, the cavalry spread 

125. The Oglos (or, as it is sometimes read, the Onglos) may in fact not 
be a river north of the Danube. The other possibility is that it may be the 
wedge-shaped strip of land between the Pruth and Seret Rivers north of the 
Danube. If the latter interpretation is correct, the word is to be derived from 
the Latin angulus: “angle.” 

126. And, by extension, from the people he ruled. 


it about that the Emperor had fled; they were overcome by fear and 
ran away themselves, though none pursued. 

When the Bulgars saw this, they did pursue, putting many to the 
sword and wounding others. They chased them to the Danube, crossed 
it, and came to Varna near Odyssos and its hinterland. They saw that 
it was securely located: from behind because of the river Danube and 
from the front and sides because of the mountain passes and the Black 

When the Bulgars became the masters of the seven tribes of 
Sklavinoi in the vicinity, they resettled the Sebereis from the mountain 
passes before Bergaba to the lands to the east, and the remainder of 
the seven tribes to the south and west up to the land of the Avars. Since 
the Bulgars were pagan at that time, they bore themselves arrogantly 
and began to assail and take cities and villages under the control of the 
Roman Empire. The Emperor had to make peace with them because 
of this, and agreed to pay them an annual tribute. This was the fault 
of the Romans’ disgrace over their great defeats. Folk far and near 
were amazed to hear that the Emperor, who had subjected everyone 
to himself, had been beaten by this newly arrived loathsome tribe. But 
he believed this had happened to the Christians because of God’s will, 
and gladly planned to make peace. 

He abstained from all warlike activity until his death, as he was 
eager to be the one chosen to unite God’s holy churches everywhere. 
They had been divided since the time of Herakleios and since that of 
Sergios and Pyrrhos of evil belief. They had unworthily held the throne 
of Constantinople and had promulgated the doctrine of the one will 
and one energy of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ. This most 
360 Christian Emperor, eager to overturn their evil doctrines, convened an 
ecumenical synod of two hundred eighty-nine bishops at Constantino- 
ple. It secured the doctrines which had previously been confirmed at 
the preceding five ecumenical councils, 127 and this holy and most exact 

127. The first five ecumenical councils are as follows: 

i. The first council of Nikaia, called by Constantine I in 325. This council 
ruled against the doctrines of Arius, who taught that Christ was of different, 
and lesser, substance than God the Father. The council declared God the 
Father and God the Son consubstantial (homoousios) with each other. 

ii. The first council of Constantinople, summoned by Theodosios I in 381 . 
It confirmed the acts of the council of Nikaia, thus exterminating Arianism 
within the Empire (though many of the German tribes, converted to Christian- 
ity while Arianism was favored during the mid-fourth century, remained of that 
faith). It also promoted the see of Constantinople, the new imperial capital, 
to patriarchal status, and raised it to second in ecclesiastical rank after Rome, 
elevating it above the sees of Alexandria and Antioch. 

iii. The council of Ephesos, summoned by Theodosios II in 431. Nes- 
torios, the patriarch of Constantinople (428-431), followed the theological 




sixth ecumenical synod voted to promulgate the pious doctrine of the 
two wills and energies. The pious Emperor Constantine and his pious 
prelates had convened this council. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6172 (SEPTEMBER 1, 680— AUGUST 31, 681) 

Arab ruler Yezid: 3 years 
6172. 672. 12. 1. 3. 

In this year the sixth holy ecumenical council of two hundred 
eighty-nine bishops and fathers was convened in Constantinople, in 
accordance with the decision of the pious Emperor Constantine. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6173 (SEPTEMBER 1, 681— AUGUST 31, 682) 
a.d. 673 

Roman Emperor Constantine: 1 7 years: year 13 

Arab ruler Yezid: 3 years: year 2 

Bishop of Constantinople George: 6 years: year 4 

In this year Constantine removed his brothers Herakleios and 
Tiberius from the imperial power, and ruled alone with his son Jus- 

leanings of his native school of Antioch by stressing Christ’s humanity and 
saying it was improper to call Mary theotohos (the Mother of God); he felt she 
should only be styled Christotokos (the Mother of Christ). This conflicted 
strongly with the views of Cyril, the patriarch of Alexandria. Also, both Alex- 
andria and Rome were jealous of the upstart see of Constantinople; they 
united in declaring Nestorios’ views heretical. The council of Ephesos, thanks 
in no small measure to the intimidation caused by Egyptian monks, ratified the 
Alexandrian theology (which put greater stress on Christ’s divinity, and felt it I 

perfectly proper that Mary should be deemed theotokos). j 

iv. The council of Chalcedon, convened by Marcian in 451. Rome and ! 

Constantinople now combined against the arrogance of the see of Alexandria i 

after its victory at the council of Ephesos. Alexandrian monophysitism (the | 

view that Christ had but one nature, the divine, after the incarnation) was j 

condemned, causing a permanent rupture in the church. See also note 69. ! 

v. The second council of Constantinople, called by Justinian I in 553. This 
council, which was an attempt to conciliate the monophysites, condemned as 
heretical the so-called Three Chapters: the works of Theodore of Mopsuestia, 
as well as some of those of Theodoretos of Cyr and Ibas of Edessa. Theodore 

was one of the men from whom Nestorios had derived his doctrines, while the j 

other two theologians had written against Nestorios’ foe Cyril of Alexandria, 
who was revered by monophysites and orthodox alike. 


58 | 

ANNUS MUNDI 6174 (SEPTEMBER 1, 682— AUGUST 31, 683) 

14. 3. 5. 

In this year Mukhtar the liar rebelled and, styling himself a 
prophet, became master of Persia. The Arabs were thrown into tur- 

ANNUS MUNDI 6175 (SEPTEMBER 1, 683— AUGUST 31, 684) 

Arab ruler Marwan: 1 year 

15. 1. 6. 

In this year Yezid died. The Arabs at Medina, troubled and 
aroused, made Abd Allah son of Zubayr their ruler. The Arabs in 
Phoenicia and Palestine assembled at Damascus, then went to Hasan, 
the emir of Palestine. They gave Marwan their right hands and made 
361 him ruler; he was caliph for nine months. After he died his son Abd 
al-Malik succeeded to the rule. He was caliph for twenty-one and a half 
years. He overpowered the rebels, killing Abd Allah son of Zubayr and 

ANNUS MUNDI 6176 (SEPTEMBER 1, 684— AUGUST 31, 685) 

Arab ruler Abd al-Malik: 22 years 

Bishop of Constantinople Theodore (again): 3 years 

16. 1. 1. 

In this year there was a famine and a great plague in Syria, and 
Abd al-Malik conquered its people. While the Mardaites were attacking 
Lebanon and the plague was at its height, Abd al-Malik sent envoys to 
the Emperor asking for the same peace terms which had been re- 
quested during the reign of Muawiyah. He agreed to pay the same 
365,000 nomismata, the same three hundred sixty-five slaves, and 
likewise the same three hundred sixty-five high-bred horses. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6177 (SEPTEMBER 1, 685— AUGUST 31, 686) 

17. 2. 2. 

In this year, after reigning for seventeen years, the pious Emperor 
Constantine died, and his son Justinian became Emperor. 

It should be known that those who say it was not until four years 
later that the enactments expressed by the members of the sixth 
council became authoritative are vainly and foolishly speaking non- 




' sense. 128 Since they speak falsely in every respect, they should be 
confuted and shown that in these matters they are not speaking the 
truth at all. For the exact chronological determination of the sixth 
holy ecumenical synod against the monothelites is that it was in the 
twelfth year of the reign of Herakleios’ descendant Constantine: that 
is to say, in the 6172nd year since the creation of the world. The- 
reafter Constantine ruled for five years, and after he died his son 
Justinian held sole power for ten years. When Justini'an was ousted 
Leontios held power for three years; after Leontios came Tiberius 
(also known as Apsimaros) for seven years, and then the ousted Jus- 
tinian once more for six years. 

As is found in the edicts which were promulgated in the second 
year of the last reign ofjustinian (who had had his nose slit), the third 
edict is as follows: “We take the view that those who entered into 
362 second marriages up until the just-past fifteenth of January of the 
just-past fourth indiction (year 6199) shall be enslaved because of their 
sin, and those who do not reform from their sin shall submit to canoni- 
cal condemnation.” And after this there is another passage: “Those 
who (after their appointment) illegally join in one marriage — that is: 
priests, deacons, and subdeacons — shall be excluded from the sacred 
liturgy for a long period of time. They shall be penalized further by 
being restored to their own ranks, 129 and in no way shall they advance 
to higher ones unless it is clear beforehand that they have been 
released from their unlawful cohabitation.” 

Thus it quite clearly appears from this chronological determin- 
ation that twenty-seven years elapsed from the sixth holy ecumeni- 
cal council to the promulgation of these edicts. At the holy ecumenical 
synod George was patriarch of Constantinople and had held the patri- 
archate for three years; after the synod he was patriarch for another 
three years. After him came Theodore’s three years, Paul’s seven, 
Kallinikos’ twelve, and Cyrus’ two, so in these patriarchates twenty- 
seven years also passed. From the time when these edicts were promul- 
gated to the first year of Philippikos’ reign was five years. In the first 
year of Philippikos’ reign occurred the insane synod which opposed 
the holy sixth ecumenical council. When Cyrus was ousted in the sixth 
year of his patriarchate, John became patriarch of Constantinople. He, 
Andrew the metropolitan of Crete, and Germanos the metropolitan of 
Kyzikos (along with everyone else around at that time) anathematized 

128. A reference to the Council in Trullo (or Quinisextum) of 691-692, 
which supplemented the fifth and sixth ecumenical councils, especially in 
matters of church discipline. 

129. That is, if they have been promoted since their illegal marriages. 
In the Greek church it is not improper for a priest to be married before his 

the sixth holy ecumenical council, and had clearly subscribed to this 
course in advance. 

When John died three years later, Germanos was translated from 
Kyzikos and became patriarch of Constantinople. In the thirteenth 
year of the reign of Leo he was exiled; Anastasios became patriarch for 
twenty-four years. After him Constantine was patriarch for twelve 
years, Niketas for fourteen, Paul for five, Tarasios for twenty-one, 
Nikephoros for eight, Theodotos for six, Antonius for sixteen, and 
John Lekanomantis for six years and one month. 150 

363 ANNUS MUNDI 6178 (SEPTEMBER 1, 686— AUGUST 31, 687) 
a.d. 678 

Roman Emperor Justinian: l 0 years: year 1 
Arab ruler Abd al-Malik: 22 years: year 3 
Bishop of Constantinople Theodore: 3 years: year 3 

In this year Abd al-Malik sent envoys to Justinian to secure peace. 
It was arranged on these terms: the Emperor would keep the Mar- 
daites’ troops out of Lebanon and stop their attacks, and Abd al-Malik 
would give the Romans 1,000 nomismata, a horse, and a slave each 
day. Also, both sides would share equally the tribute from Cyprus, 
Armenia, and Iberia. The Emperor sent the magistrianos 131 Paul to 
Abd al-Malik to secure the arrangement. There were written sureties 
with witnesses; the magistrianos, who was treated with honor, re- 

The Emperor sent messengers who seized 12,000 Mardaites, 
mutilating the Roman state. For all the cities in the heights from 
Mopsuestia to fourth Armenia, which are now inhabited by the Arabs, 
had grown weak and depopulated from the Mardaites’ attacks. After 
they were transplanted, Romania has suffered all sorts of evils at the 
hands of the Arabs up until the present day. 

In the same year Abd al-Malik sent Muawiyah’s brother Ziyad to 

1 30. This chronological discussion was inserted into the chronicle some 
time after Theophanes’ death in 818; by its description ofjohn Lekanomantis’ 
patriarchate as having lasted six years and one month, it can be dated to 840. 
Theodotos was patriarch of Constantinople from 815 to 821, Antonius from 
821 to 834, and John Lekanomantis from 834 to 843. 

131. This is the Greek equivalent of the Latin agens in rebus. Agenles in rebus 
served as dispatch- carriers and inspectors of the imperial post; some of the 
more prominent members of this civil service corps held administrative posts 
at the imperial court. Agentes in rebus had jurisdictional privileges which put 
them beyond the authority of local courts, and were also allowed to charge fees 
for their services: two reasons why appointments to membership in this corps 
were eagerly sought. 





Persia against the rebel Mukhtar the liar, but Mukhtar killed him. 
When Abd al-Malik heard of this he went to Mesopotamia, but Sai'd 
rebelled against him. He came back, persuaded Said to open Damascus 
(which he had previously overrun), and then assassinated him. 

As he was but sixteen, Justinian was not one to follow traditional 
practice. He ran things without advice, and sent a Roman force to 
Armenia under his general Leontios. He killed the Saracens there and 
subjected it to the Romans, as he did Iberia, Albania, Boukania, and 
Media. Making them tributary, he sent the Emperor a large sum of 
money. When Abd al-Malik learned of this he overpowered Kirkesion 
and subjected Theopolis. 

364 ANNUS MUNDI 6179 (SEPTEMBER 1, 687— AUGUST 31, 688) 

Bishop of Constantinople Paul: 7 years 
2. 4. 1. 

In this year there was a famine in Syria, and many men entered 

The Emperor went to Armenia and there received the Lebanese 
Mardaites, putting an end to his stout wall. 

He also broke the peace with the Bulgars, utterly confounding his 
own father s appropriate edicts. He ordered the thematic cavalry to 
cross to Thrace, as he wanted to take prisoners among the Bulgars and 
the Sklavinoi. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6180 (SEPTEMBER 1, 688— AUGUST 31, 689) 
6180. 680. 3. 5. 2. 

In this year Justinian campaigned against Sklavinia and Bulgaria. 
Advancing to Thessalonike, he thrust back as far as possible the Bul- 
gars he encountered. He conquered large hosts of Slavs (some in 
battle, but others went over to him) and settled them in the Opsi- 
kion, 132 sending them across by way of Abydos. 

While he was withdrawing, the Bulgars stopped him on the road 
at the narrow part of a mountain pass; he was barely able to get 
through, and his army took many casualties. 

; In the sam e year Abd Allah the son of Zubayr sent his brother 
Mu’sab against Mukhtar, who engaged him but was routed and fled to 
Syria. Mu’sab overtook and slew him. Abd al-Malik attacked, over- 
came, and killed Mu’sab, and subjected all of Persia. 

132. This theme occupied the northwestern quadrant of Anatolia, being 
west of the theme of the Armeniacs and north of that of the Anatolies. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6181 (SEPTEMBER 1, 689— AUGUST 31, 690) 

A.D. 681 

Roman Emperor Justinian: 10 years: year 4 
Arab ruler Abd al-Malik: 22 years: year 6 
Bishop of Constantinople Paul: 7 years: year 3 

In this year Abd al-Malik sent Hajjaj to Mecca against the son of 
Zubayr; Hajjaj killed him there. After he subjected to Abd al-Malik the 
territory which had opposed him, he burned the house of his idol along 
365 with the idol they worshiped; thanks to that, Abd al-Malik appointed 
Hajjaj general of Persia. Persia, Mesopotamia, and the great Arabia of 
Medina were subjected to Abd al-Malik, and the Arabs’ civil war ended. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6182 (SEPTEMBER 1, 690— AUGUST 31, 691) 

5. 7. 4. 

In this year the Arabs’ state was finally freed from all warfare. 
Once he had subjected everyone, Abd al-Malik made peace. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6183 (SEPTEMBER 1, 691— AUGUST 31, 692) 

6. 8. 5. 

In this year, thanks to a lack of good sense, Justinian broke the 
peace with Abd al-Malik. He was foolishly anxious to resettle the island 
of Cyprus. A number of the Cypriots who made the effort drowned or 
died of sickness; the rest did return to Cyprus. 

Also, Justinian would not accept the money Abd al-Malik sent, as 
it had a new type of stamp and had never been that way before. 133 
When Abd al-Malik heard this, he satanically dissembled and called on 
Justinian not to break the peace, but rather to accept his money. 
Though the Arabs could not accept the Romans’ impress on their own 
coins, they would give the Romans the correct weight of gold and there 
would not be any loss from the new Arab coinage. But Justinian 
thought Abd al-Malik’s request was caused by fear. He did not under- 
stand that what the Arabs wanted was to stop the Mardaites’ inroads, 
and then to break the peace with a pretext that seemed plausible. This 
is just what happened. 

133. During the reign ofjustinian II, Byzantine coinage began to feature 
an image of Christ, an image naturally unacceptable to the Muslims. Until this 
time the Arabs had closely imitated Byzantine models in their coinage; now 
they began an independent series of gold coins, minted on a lighter standard 
than the nomisma. After an intermediate series featuring a standing caliph on 
the obverse, by 696-697 Arab coinage was totally aniconic. 





Abd al-Malik also sent orders to rebuild the temple at Mecca. He 
wanted to take way pillars from holy Gethsemane, but Sergios the son 
of Mansur (a Christian who was public finance minister and was very 
friendly with Abd al-Malik) and his co-leader of the Palestinian Chris- 
tians, Patricius (surnamed Klausus), asked him not to do this, but to 
persuade Justinian through their request to send other columns in 
place of these. This was done. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6184 (SEPTEMBER 1, 692— AUGUST 31, 693) 

7. 9. 6. 

In this year Justinian made a selection from the Slavs he had 

366 resettled. He levied 30,000 men, armed them, and named them the 
“special army.” Their commander was named Neboulos. Justinian, 
confident in them, wrote to the Arabs that he would not abide by the 
peace which had been agreed upon in writing. Taking up his special 
army and all the thematic cavalry, he traveled by sea to Sebastopolis. 

The hypocritical Arabs did not choose to break the peace, but 
imperial guilt and indiscretion forced them to do so. They armed 
themselves and went to Sebastopolis, though they first swore to the 
Emperor that they had not perverted what the two sides had agreed 
upon with oaths: God would be the judge and avenger of their charges. 

But since the Emperor would not tolerate hearing any such thing, 
being instead eager for battle, they dissolved the written peace treaty 
and rushed against the Romans. They hung a copy of the treaty from 
a spear to go before them in place of a banner. Muhammad was their 
general as they joined battle. At first the Arabs were defeated, but 
Muhammad suborned the general of the Slavs allied to the Romans. 
He sent him a purse loaded with nomismata and, deceiving him with 
many promises, persuaded him to desert to the Arabs with 20,000 
Slavs. Then Justinian massacred the remaining Slavs (and their wives 
and children) at Leukate, a precipitous place by the sea on the gulf of 

ANNUS MUNDI 6185 (SEPTEMBER 1, 693— AUGUST 31, 694) 

8. 10. 7. 

In this year Sabbatios the prince of Armenia, after learning of the 
Roman defeat, surrendered it to the Arabs. Also, inner Persia (known 
as Khorasan) came under their control. A dangerous man, Sabinos by 
name, rose up there and killed many Arabs — almost including Hajjaj 

367 himself — but was finally drowned in a river. From then on the Aga- 
renes, growing bolder, ravaged Romania. 


ANNUS MUNDI 6186 (SEPTEMBER 1, 694— AUGUST 31, 695) 
a.d. 686 

Roman Emperor Justinian: 10 years: year 9 
Arab ruler Abd al-Malik: 22 years: year 11 
Bishop of Constantinople Kallinikos: 12 years: year 1 

In this year there was an eclipse of the sun at the third hour of the 
fifth of Hyperbataios (a Sunday), 134 with the result that some bright 
stars appeared. 

Muhammad attacked Romania; he had with him the Slavs who had 
fled, as they had experience of Romania. He took many prisoners. 

There was a slaughter of pigs in Syria. 

Justinian gave heed to the palace buildings; he built the triklinos 
of Justinian 135 and outwalls for the palace. 

He made the sakellarios and chief eunuch Stephen the Persian (a 
lord and a powerful man, but bloodthirsty and cruel) his adviser. 
Stephen was not content with mercilessly harassing the workmen, but 
even stoned them and their leaders. After the Emperor went abroad, 
this wild beast even dared to whip Justinian’s mother, the Augusta 
Anastasia, as if she were a child. During this time he worked many evils 
throughout the community, which made the Emperor hated. 

In a similar fashion, Justinian put an abbot named Theodotos 
(who had formerly been a solitary monk at Stenon in Thrace, and was 
terrible and wild) in charge of the affairs of the public finance ministry. 
Theodotos rashly, vainly, and unjustifiably put into effect schemes, 
confiscations, and tax assessments against a great many leaders of the 
state and important men, not only from the governing class, but also 
from among the property-owners of the city. He hanged them and lit 
chaff-heaps under them. There is still more: by imperial order the 
prefect shut up a great many men in prisons and kept them under 
guard for years. All this exacerbated the people’s hatred of the Em- 

368 The Emperor demanded that the patriarch Kallinikos make a 

prayer so he could tear down the metropolitan’s church dedicated to 
the Mother of God, which was near the palace. Justinian wanted to 
erect a fountain and build seats for the Blue faction so its members 
could receive the Emperor there. The patriarch said, “We have a 
prayer over the construction of a church, but we have not inherited a 
prayer over the demolition of a church.” But since the Emperor pres- 
sured him and absolutely demanded the prayer, the patriarch said, 

134. Actually, this appears to be the eclipse of October 5, 693: Newton, 
op. cit., 543-544. 

1357 A reception hall. 




“Glory to God the long-suffering at all times: now, forever, and 
through eons upon eons. Amen.” When they heard this, they tore 
down the church and built the fountain. They rebuilt the metropoli- 
tan’s church at Petrin. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6187 (SEPTEMBER 1, 695— AUGUST 31, 696) 

10 . 12 . 2 . 

In this year Muhammad attacked fourth Armenia, took many pris- 
oners, and then withdrew. 

In the same year Justinian was removed from the imperial power 
in this way: he ordered the patrician and general Stephen (sumarned ] 

Rhousios) to kill the populace of Constantinople, and to begin with the 
patriarch. Now Leontios, who was a patrician and general of the Ana- 
tolic theme, and was distinguished in battle, had spent three years in 
prison. Although he had been condemned, he was suddenly released 
and appointed general of Hellas. 136 He was ordered to embark on 
three warships and leave the city that very day. 

That night, while he was preparing to sail from the city, he was 
steadied by his friends, who had come to him at the harbor of Sophia 
(or Julian) near Mauros. Among those who went to him were his true 
friends Paul (a monk of the monastery of Kallistratos) and Gregory the 
Kappadokian (who was a kleisouriarch 137 and later a monk and abbot 
of the monastery of Florus). They had watched over him carefully 
while he was in prison, since they thought he would become Roman 

Leontios said to them, “While I was injail, you strongly supported 
369 me for the imperial power. Now my life is coming to an end in evil 
circumstances, for in the future I will constantly be expecting death.” 

They said, “Should you not hesitate, your bid for power will at 
once be fulfilled. Only listen to us, and follow us.” Leontios took the 
men and such arms as he had and went to the Praitorion in great 
secrecy. They pounded on the doors, claiming the Emperor had come 
to administer some business there. 

When the underofficer at that time had been notified, he immedi- 
ately came and opened the door. He was overpowered, dubbed down, 
and bound hand and foot by Leontios. Once he had got in, Leontios 
opened the prisons, releasing the many noble men who had been 


136. This is the first mention in Byzantine history of the organization of | 

the theme of Hellas (“Greece” — which was not the name of the Roman prov- j 

ince for the area). It may have come into being as a result of Justinian II’s 

earlier campaigns against the Slavs in the Balkans. j 

137. An officer in charge of guarding a mountain pass. i 

jailed: they had been shut in for as long as six or eight years. Most of 
them were soldiers, and Leontios armed them and went out into the 
Forum with them. He cried, “All you Christians, go to Hagia Sophia!” 
and sent men to each region, ordering them to cry out the same thing. 
Once roused, the masses hastily assembled at the church’s font. 

Along with his two friends the monks and some of the more 
important men who had got out of jail, Leontios went to the patriarch 
at his residence. They found him troubled because of what had been 
commanded of Stephen Rhousios, and persuaded him to come down 
to the font and speak as follows: “This is the day which the Lord 

And all the people lifted up their voices: “Let Justinian’s bones be 
exhumed!” 138 Then they all ran out to the hippodrome. When it was 
day they led Justinian into the hippodrome through the Sphendone, 
slit his nose, cut his tongue, and exiled him to the Cherson. The mob 
seized the public finance minister Theodotos the monk and the sakel- 
larios Stephen the Persian, bound them by the feet, and dragged them 
through the Mese. 139 They carried them into the Forum of the Ox and 
burned them alive. Thus did they acclaim Leontios Emperor. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6188 (SEPTEMBER 1, 696— AUGUST 31, 697) 

Roman Emperor Leontios: 3 years 

1. 13. 3. 

In this year the Emperor Leontios maintained a policy peaceful in 
all respects. 

370 ANNUS MUNDI 6189 (SEPTEMBER 1, 697— AUGUST 31, 698) 

2. 14. 4. 

In this year Khalid attacked Romania, took many captives, and 
withdrew. Also, Sergios son of Barnoukios, the patrician of Lazika, 
revolted and put it under Arab rule. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6190 (SEPTEMBER 1, 698— AUGUST 31, 699) 
6190. 690. 3. 15. 5. 

In this year the Arabs attacked and conquered Africa, settling in 
it a garrison from their army. When Leontios learned of this he dis- 
patched the patrician John, a competent man, with the entire Roman 

138. A Byzantine curse, equivalent to, “Down with Justinian!” 

139. The main street of Constantinople. 





navy. When he arrived at Carthage he forced open the harbor’s chain, 
routed his opponents, and drove them away. He freed the African 
cities and left behind his own garrison. He then referred these matters 
to the Emperor and, once he had received his orders, wintered in 

On learning of this, the Arab leader sent a larger and more power- ] 

ful expedition against him. In battle he drove John and his army from 
the harbor. Once he had entered it from outside, he camped in force 
within its small circuit. 

John went back to Romania, as he wanted to get reinforcements 
from the Emperor. He had come as far as Crete, however, when the 
army was suborned by its officers. Because it was afraid and disgraced, 
it did not want to refer matters to the Emperor, and turned to a wicked 
plot. It dug up Apsimaros, the drungarios 140 of the Ribyrhaiotai, 141 
and chose him as Emperor, renaming him Tiberius. ! 

While Leontios was cleansing the Neoresian harbor in Constan- j 

tinople, the bubonic plague descended on the city and destroyed a ? 

great number of people in four months. 

Apsimaros and his expedition arrived and anchored at Sykai 
371 across from the city. For a time no-one in the city wanted to betray 
Leontios, but at the single wall of Blakhernai foreign officers (who had 
been entrusted with the keys of the land wall because of their frightful 
oath at the holy table) plotted to betray the city and carried out their 
perfidy. The soldiers of Apsimaros’ naval force entered the citizens’ 
houses and stripped the property-owners of their possessions. 

Apsimaros slit Leontios’ nose and ordered him into the monastery 
of Delmatos under guard. Since Leontios’ officers and friends had 
clung to him even unto death, Apsimaros beat and exiled them and 
confiscated their property. He appointed his true brother Herakleios 
sole general of all the thematic cavalry outside the city, as he was quite 
competent. He sent Herakleios to Kappadokia to traverse the passes 
and administer and command the action being taken against Ap- 
simaros’ enemies. 

140. A rank approximately equivalent to colonel. 

141. The theme of the Ribyrhaiotai comprised the southwestern coast 
of Asia Minor; many of the thematic troops settled there seem to have owed 
naval, rather than land, military service. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6191 (SEPTEMBER 1, 699— AUGUST 31, 700) 
A.D. 691 

Roman Emperor Apsimaros: 7 years: year 1 
Arab ruler Abd al-Malik: 22 years: year 16 
Bishop of Constantinople Kallinikos: 12 years: year 6 

In this year Apsimaros held the imperial power. 

Also, Abd ar-Rahman rebelled in Persia, became its master, and 
drove Hajjaj from it. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6192 (SEPTEMBER 1, 700— AUGUST 31, 701) 

2. 17. 7. 

In this year there was a great plague. 

Joining Hajjaj in Persia, Muhammad campaigned against Abd ar- 
Rahman with a host of Arabs. Once they had attacked and killed him, 
they entrusted Persia to Hajjaj once more. 

The Romans overran Syria, advancing as far as Samosata. 
They foraged through the surrounding country, killing many Arabs 
(200,000, as they say). They took a large amount of booty and many 
Arab prisoners and withdrew after giving the Arabs a bad scare. 

372 ANNUS MUNDI 6193 (SEPTEMBER 1, 701— AUGUST 31, 702) 

3. 18. 8. 

In this year Abd Allah attacked Romania; he besieged Taranton 
but withdrew without having accomplished anything. He rebuilt and 
garrisoned Mopsuestia. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6194 (SEPTEMBER 1, 702— AUGUST 31, 703) 

4. 19. 9. 

In this year Baanes (surnamed Heptadaimon) brought fourth Ar- 
menia under Arab rule. 

Apsimaros exiled to Kephalenia Philippikos the son of the patri- 
cian Nikephoros, since he had dreamed he would become Emperor. 
He said that in a dream he had seen an eagle shading his head. 142 
When the Emperor heard that he immediately exiled him. 

142. The eagle is the Byzantine symbol of the imperium, a tradition 
going back to Roman days. A vision of an eagle would have been thought by 
all concerned to be a portent of coming power. 




ANNUS MUNDI 6195 (SEPTEMBER 1, 703— AUGUST 31, 704) 

5. 20. 10. 

In this year the leaders of Armenia rebelled against the Saracens 
and killed the Saracens there. They sent messengers to Apsimaros, 
who brought the Romans into their country. But Muhammad’s cam- 
paign against them killed many. Once he had resubjected Armenia to 
the Saracens, he gathered the Armenian grandees' together and 
burned them alive. 

At around this time Azar attacked Kilikia with 10,000 men. The 
Emperor’s brother Herakleios met him, killed most of his men, and 
sent the rest to the Emperor in bonds. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6196 (SEPTEMBER 1, 704— AUGUST 31, 705) 

6 . 21 . 11 . 

In this year Azid the son of Khounei attacked Kilikia. While he was 
besieging the fortress of Sision the Emperor’s brother Herakleios ar- 
rived; in his attack he killed 12,000 Arabs. 

Justinian, who was in Cherson, declared that he intended to be- 
come Emperor again. The property-owners there were afraid of dan- 
ger from the Empire; they planned to kill him or send him to the 
Emperor, but he learned of this and was able to escape. He fled to 
Daras and asked for an interview with the Khazar Khagan. When the 
373 Khagan learned of this he receivedjustinian with great honor and gave 
him as a wife his own sister Theodora. 

After a short timejustinian went down to Phanagouria to make his 
home there, as the Khagan had asked of him. When Apsimaros heard 
about this he sent a message to the Khagan promising jto give him 
many presents if he would send Justinian alive: or if not, his head 
would do. The Khagan yielded to this request and set guards on 
Justinian, under the pretext of preventing plots against him by men of 
his own nation. The Khagan ordered Papatzun (who was going to 
Phanagouria from his court) and Balgitzin (the governor of Bosporos) 
to kill Justinian when asked. 

One of the Khagan’s house-slaves told this to Theodora, and it 
became known to Justinian. He summoned Papatzun to visit him at his 
own residence, strangled him with a cord, and dealt with Balgitzin in 
the same way. Then he immediately sent Theodora back to Khazaria, 
while he himself secretly fled to Tomi. He found a merchantman which 
had just been fully loaded, boarded it and, sailing past Assada, came 
to Symbolon near Cherson. 

He sent a secret message to Cherson which roused Baris- 

7 ° 




j bakourios, Barisbakourios’ brother (known as both Salibas and 

| Stephen), Moropaulos, and Theophilos. With them he sailed past 

Cherson’s lighthouse. They had sailed past Nekropela (the mouth of 
! both the Dnieper and the Dniester) when the sea grew stormy, so that 

everyone despaired of being saved. Justinian’s man Myakes said to 
< him, “You are going to die, my lord! Make a deal with God for being 

1 saved, so that if He restores your rule to you, you will not take ven- 

■ geance on your enemies.” 

\ Justinian answered him angrily, “If I spare any of them, then may 

j God drown me!” 

374 He escaped the heavy sea without harm and entered the Danube 
River. He sent Stephen to Tervel the lord of Bulgaria to gain his 
support for Justinian’s reconquest of the Empire of his forefathers. He 
promised to give Tervel many gifts, even his own daughter as wife. 
Tervel promised on oath to obey and cooperate with him in every way, 
and received him with honor. He raised his entire army, Bulgars and 
Slavs. 143 In the following year, after they had been equipped, they 
approached the imperial city. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6197 (SEPTEMBER 1, 705— AUGUST 31, 706) 


a.d. 697 

Roman Emperor Apsimaros: 7 years: year 7 
Arab ruler Abd al-Malik: 22 years: year 22 
Bishop of Constantinople Kallinikos: 12 years: year 12 


In this year Abd al-Malik the Arab ruler died and his son Walid 
came to power. 

In the same year Justinian reached the imperial city with Tervel 
and his Bulgars. His camp extended from the Charisian gate to Blakh- 
ernai. For three days his troops talked with the men in the city, but 
were reviled by them, as they would not accept any agreement. 

But Justinian and a few comrades got into the city without battle 
through a pipe, which threw Constantinople into confusion. After 
taking the town, for a short time he quartered himself in the palace of 

ANNUS MUNDI 6198 (SEPTEMBER 1, 706— AUGUST 31, 707) 


| Roman Emperor Justinian ( again ): 6 years 

| Arab ruler Walid: 9 years 


143. This passage shows that the Turkic Bulgars had not yet been as- 
similated by the more numerous Slavs over whom they ruled. 

7 1 



Bishop of Constantinople Cyrus.' 6 years 

1 . 1 . 1 . 

In this year Justinian regained the imperial power. He gave Tervel 
many presents (including imperial regalia) and sent him off in peace. 

Apsimaros had abandoned the city and fled to Apollonias. He 
was pursued, seized, and brought to Justinian. Herakleios was 
brought in bonds from Thrace along with all the officers who were 
his comrades. Justinian hanged them all on the wall. He also sent 
men to the interior who routed out many more officers and killed 
them, those who had been active against him and those who had not 
alike. He triumphally paraded Leontios and Apsimaros through the 
whole city in chains. 

While the horse-races were going on and Justinian was sitting on 
the throne, they were publicly dragged before him and thrown down 
like his slaves. He trampled on their necks until the end of the first 
heat while the people shouted, “You have attacked an asp and a 
basilisk, and have trampled down a lion and a dragon. ” 144 Then he 

sent Leontios and Apsimaros to the Kynegion 146 and beheaded 

Justinian blinded the patriarch Kallinikos and exiled him to 
Rome. In his place he appointed Cyrus (a solitary monk on the 
island of Amastns), since Cyrus had predicted his restoration. Justinian 
destroyed an uncountable number of political and military 
figures; many he gave bitter deaths by throwing them into the sea in 
sacks. He invited others to a fine meal and hanged some of them when 

they got up; others he cut down. Because of all this everyone was 

Justinian sent an expedition to bring back his wife from Khazaria, 
and many ships sank. When the Khagan heard this he told Justinian, 
You fool, would it not have been proper to send two or three ships 
to get your wife, and not to have killed such a host? Or do you think 
you are taking her by force? Know also that you have had a son: send 
a man and get them.” Justinian dispatched the cubicularius Theo- 
phylaktos, who brought back Theodora and Justinian’s son Tiberius. 
He crowned them and they ruled with him. 

144. Psalm 91, verse 13, a particularly apt choice: “asp” puns on Ap- 
simaros name, and “lion” on that of Leontios. “Basilisk” is also a pun; it has 
two meanings in Greek, one being a dragon-like beast, the other a petty king. 

. uu : An amphitheater close by the eastern tip of Constantinople, not 
there ^ ^ 3 northeast of Ha & ia Sophia. Executions were often performed 



ANNUS MUNDI 6199 (SEPTEMBER 1, 707— AUGUST 31, 708) 

Bishop of Jerusalem John: 30 years 
2. 2. 2. 2 [sic]. 

i 376 In this year Walid robbed the holy catholic church of Damascus 
out of the envy the sinner felt toward the Christians because of this 

I church’s surpassing beauty. He also stopped the use of Greek in the 

public record books of the departments, ordering them to be written 
in Arabic instead: that is, except for numbers, since it is impossible to 
write the number “one,” the number “two,” the number “three,” 
“eight and a half,” or “three in the feminine gender” in their language. 
Because of this their scribes are Christians even to the present day. 

j ANNUS MUNDI 6200 (SEPTEMBER 1, 708— AUGUST 31, 709) 


1 A.D. 700 

Roman Emperor Justinian: 6 years: year 3 
Arab ruler Walid: 9 years: year 3 
Bishop of Constantinople Cyrus: 6 years: year 3 
Bishop of Jerusalem John: 30 years: year 3 

\ In this year Justinian broke the peace between the Romans and 

Bui gars. He made all the thematic cavalry cross into Thrace, outfitted 
a naval expedition, and moved against Tervel and the Bulgars. On 
reaching Ankhialos he anchored his fleet in front of the city and, 
absolutely unsuspicious, ordered the cavalry to camp inland without 
close guard. While the army scattered like sheep over the camp to 
gather provisions, from the mountains the Bulgars’ lookouts spied the 
Romans’ thoughtless behavior. They came together like wild beasts 
and made a sudden, strong attack which destroyed the Roman flock. 
Besides the Romans who were killed, they took many prisoners, 
horses, and weapons. 

Justinian and the survivors took refuge in the fortress and kept its 

; gates shut for three days. He was the first to hamstring his horse, and 

ordered everyone to do the same. 146 He placed trophies on the wall, 
secretly boarded his ship that night, and sailed away, returning to the 
city in disgrace. 

146. To keep them from falling into the hands of the Bulgars. 



..V^ A 

o\ ANNUS MUNDI 6201 (SEPTEMBER 1, 709— AUGUST 31, 710) 

\ 4444 

’ . \^}JL.©'"yv\ 

377 \ In this year|Maslama and Abas attacked Tyana because they were 
n furious at the fate of Maiuoma’s army, which had been slaughtered by 

Marianos. They besieged Tyana and wintered there. The Emperor 
. a sent two generals— Theodore Karteroukas and Theophylaktos Salibas 

^ ■ j*. —against it withanarmy (and some farmer-soldiers to help it) to drive®:^' 4 

*■; T y - 

the Arabs in a disorderly way.^nd were routed. Many thousands were 
destroyed^ mken pnW Jhe Arabs, once they had taken 
the army’s bagg2ge-0raln andTood-supply, could lay siege to Tyana 
until they captured it. They had been short of food, and had intended 
to withdraw. yjr*A»4i'M\A\ 

-* : v. Once o theys^jfhk battle, the inhabitants of Tyana despaired" 

The y g° r f'plcclgc that they would not befrarmedand ^bhtATto the 
Arabs; they abandoned their city, which has been a wasteland until 
the present. The Arabs did not ajude by the treaty, butjexiled them 
to the desert; they also enslaved/many of them. iJ)CiimA ( -- 

\i DO-iaAC 

ANNUS MUNDI 6202 (SEPTEMBER 1, 710— AUGUST 31, 711) 

6202. 702. 5. 5. 5. 5. 

In this year Abas attacked Romania, took many prisoners, and 
withdrew. He also began to build Garis near Heliopolis. 

4. 4. 4. 4. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6203 (SEPTEMBER 1, 711— AUGUST 31, 712) 

6 . 6 . 6 . 6 . 

1 379 

In this year Uthman attacked Kilikia and took many fortresses on 
terms. Also, Kamakhon and its surrounding area were betfayed to the 
Arabs. } 

Because of a slight he remembered, Justinian sent the patricians 
Mauros and Stephen (surnamed Askemitos) to Cherson. He armed a ! 

large expedition, because he remembered the Chersonites, Bospo- | 

rans, and inhabitants of the remaining areas there had been plotting j 

against him. This expedition was made up of all his warships, triremes, 
transports, merchantmen, and other naval craft. They were obtained 
by a requisition on the senators, artisans, members of the circus fac- I 

tions, and all office-holders living in the city. jj 

Justinian dispatched the patricians with orders to put everyone 
inhabiting these cities to the sword and not to save anyone. He also 
gave them Helias, a spatharios who was in his debt, to install as gover- 



nor of Cherson. They reached Cherson and, as no-one opposed them, 
took its cities and put everyone to the sword except the children; 
because of their youth they were spared and saved for slavery. 

The soldiers sent the Tudun (the governor of Cherson by virtue 
of his being the Khagan’s personal representative), Zoilos (a leading 
citizen because of his lineage and birth), and forty other leading men 
of Cherson (kin and all) in bonds to the Emperor. They fastened seven 
other leading citizens of Cherson on wooden spits and roasted them 
over a fire. They bound twenty others with their hands behind their 
backs and tied them to a warship, then filled it with stones and 
drowned the men in the deeps. 

When Justinian learned what had happened he was furious be- 
cause the children had been saved, and commanded his men to report 
to him at once. Since the expedition departed in October and was at 
sea at the time of the rising of the star known as Tauroura, 147 it was 
entirely sunk: around 73,000 sailors died. Justinian was not dismayed 
when he learned of this, but rather filled with joy, as he was now at the 
peak of his madness. He kept bellowing threats that he would kill every 
male in Cherson: he threatened to send out another expedition, mow 
down everyone, and smash them to bits. 

When the inhabitants of the cities heard this, they looked to their 
own safety. As they were compelled to oppose the Emperor, they sent 
messages to the Khagan in Khazaria, asking for an army to protect 
them. Under these circumstances, Helias the spatharios and Bardanes 
the exile 148 (who by this time had been recalled from Kephalenia and 
was in Cherson with the expedition) also rebelled. When he learned 
of these developments, Justinian dispatched the patrician and minister 
of public finance George (surnamed Syros), John the prefect, and 
Christopher the turmarch of the Thrakesian theme 149 with a few war- 
ships and three hundred armed men. He also gave them the Tudun 
and Zoilos, whom he intended to restore in Kherson as before, and he 
ordered them to justify themselves to the Khagan through an envoy. 
They were to bring Helias and Bardanes to the Emperor. 

But after they crossed to Cherson, the inhabitants of the city 

147. “The Bull’s Tail.” Despite the fact that he was a monk, Theophanes 
took astrology and its premonitions seriously, as is demonstrated here and 

148. this is Philippikos, whose exile is mentioned in annus mundi 6194. 
He ruled as Philippikos; Bardanes, an Armenian name, might not have been 
acceptable to the Greek-speaking population of the Empire. There was prece- 
dent for this sort of name change; the Emperor who reigned as Zeno (474- 
491), e.g., was born with the uncouth Isaurian appellation Tarasikodissa. 

149. The western part of the original Anatolic theme is now detached 
from the large administrative unit to become a separate theme of its own. 





would not talk with them. On the next day the city dwellers persuaded 
Justinian’s officers to enter the city alone and slammed shut the gates. 

They put the minister of public finance and the prefect to the sword, 
but gave the Tudun, Zoi'los, the turmarch, and the three hundred f 

soldiers to the Khazars, who sent them to the Khagan. When the 
Tudun died on the way, the Khazars killed the turmarch and the three 
hundred soldiers as a funeral-rite. j 

Then the Chersonites and the dwellers in the rest of the cities 
renounced Justinian and acclaimed Bardanes Philippikos (who was in 
exile there) as Emperor. When he learned of this Justinian went mad- ) 

der yet. He killed the spatharios Helias’ children on their mother’s ; 

breast and made her marry her own cook, who was an Indian. Then j 

he readied another naval force under the patrician Mauros Bessos. He 
gave him rams, catapults, and all sorts of siege-engines for attacking 
fortified positions, and commanded him to raze Cherson’s walls and 
the entire city, and not to spare a single soul. He made even more clear j 

what would be done to Mauros as a means of repairing failure. 

Mauros crossed and with a ram overthrew the Kentenaresion gate 
and the one near it known as Syagros. But then the Khazars arrived, 
and there was a truce in the fighting. Bardanes fled to the Khagan. ! 

Justinian’s expedition was unsuccessful, but did not dare return to the j 

Emperor; its members renounced him and acclaimed Bardanes as 
Emperor. The Khagan demanded that they promise not to betray him, 
and that each of them give the Khagan a nomisma. They immediately 
gave him the pledge and the money and received the Emperor Philip- 
pikos. ■ 

When the expedition lingered and did not return, Justinian 
guessed the reason. He departed (with him were the Opsikians and 
some of the Thrakesians) for Sinope to find out exactly what was going 
on in Cherson. In his examination he discerned the rebel expedition 
arming against the city 150 and, charging forward like a lion, rushed 
toward the city himself. But since Philippikos got there ahead of him 
and had taken it, he went to Damatrys, 151 where he camped with his 

Philippikos immediately dispatched the patrician Mauros and the 
spatharios John (surnamed Strouthos 152 ) against Tiberius. He also 
sent out a raiding-party against Justinian at Damatrys, and another 
man against Barisbakourios, who had fled. 

Mauros and Strouthos went to Blakhernai. They found Tiberius ! 


150. Constantinople. 

151. A town about twenty miles east of Chalcedon. 

152. The Ostrich,” or, perhaps, “The Sparrow” — two very different 
physical types. 



holding with one hand the leg of the altar’s holy table in the church 
of the Mother of God, and with the other the True Cross. Round his 
neck were protective amulets. His father’s mother Anastasia was sitting 
outside the chapel; she fell at Mauros’ feet and begged him not to kill 
her grandson Tiberius, as he had done no wrong. But while she was 
clutching his feet and tearfully entreating, Strouthos went into the 
chapel and took Tiberius away by force. He took the True Cross away 
from him and put it on the holy table; the amulets he fastened round 
his own neck. They took the boy to the small porch above the monas- 
tery of Kallinike, stripped him, stretched him out in the doorway like 
a sheep, and cut his throat. They ordered him buried in the church of 
the holy Anargyroi 153 — known as that of Pauline. 

Barisbakourios, the chief patrician and count of the Opsikion, was 
overpowered and killed. Helias and his army went to Damatrys and 
entered into talks with the army there. They gave Justinian’s army a 
381 promise of no ill-treatment, whereupon everyone abandoned Jus- 
tinian, leaving him all alone and going over to Philippikos. Then the 
spatharios Helias angrily burst forward and seized Justinian’s neck. He 
cut off his head with the dagger with which he was girded and sent it 
to Philippikos by way of the spatharios Romanos. Through the same 
spatharios Philippikos sent it to the western lands, even to Rome. 

Before Philippikos had become Emperor, a heretic solitary monk 
who could see the future went to him in the monastery of Kallistratos 
and said, “The Empire will devolve on you.” Philippikos was upset, but 
the monk said, “If God ordains it, how can you oppose it? I tell you 
this: the sixth synod was evil. Cast it out, and your reign will be mighty 
and long-lasting.” 

With an oath, Philippikos agreed to do this. When Leontios suc- 
ceeded Justinian, Philippikos went to the monk, who told him, “You 
should not be eager: this will come to pass.” And when Apsimaros 
became Emperor, Philippikos again went to him, and again he told 
Philippikos, “You should not be eager: it is still alive for you.” But 
when Philippikos confided in one of his friends, the man told Ap- 
simaros. He cudgeled and tonsured Philippikos, put him in irons, and 
exiled him to Kephalenia. When Justinian became Emperor, he re- 
called him once more. 

Once he had become Emperor, Philippikos convened a false as- 
sembly of bishops to cast out the holy sixth ecumenical council, follow- 
ing the plan of the false abbot and monk. At the same time the profane 
fellow went blind. 

Nevertheless, he stayed in the palaces, not a bit concerned. He had 

153. Sts. Kosmas and Damian. They were healer-saints, who accepted no 
fees: thus their sobriquet, “those who take no money.” 




found a lot of money and expensive property collected by the previous 
Emperors (especially Justinian) through confiscations and various pre- 
texts, and senselessly and vainly squandered it. In his speech he was 
reckoned eloquent and sensible, but his actions were impious and 
incompetent and showed him to be altogether disreputable. He was 
both a heretic and an adulterer. He ousted the patriarch Cyrus from 
his church and appointed his fellow mystic and fellow heretic John. 

382 ANNUS MUNDI 6204 (SEPTEMBER 1, 712— AUGUST 31, 713) 
a.d. 704 

Roman Emperor Philippikos: 2 years: year 1 
Arab ruler Walid: 9 years: year 7 
Bishop of Constantinople John: 3 years: year 1 
Bishop of Jerusalem John: 30 years: year 7 

In this year Philippikos drove the Armenians from his territory 
and made them settle in Melitene and fourth Armenia. Maslama took 
Melitene, other fortresses, and many prisoners. George the bishop of 
Apamea was resettled in Martyropolis. 

Philippikos was not ashamed to move insanely against the sixth 
holy ecumenical council, and was eager to overturn the holy doctrines 
it had secured. He found that John, whom he had made bishop of 
Constantinople when he condemned his predecessor Cyrus, was of his 
opinion (Philippikos had imprisoned Cyrus in the monastery of the 
Khora). Also of his party were Germanos 154 (who later held the throne 
of Constantinople, but was at that time bishop of Kyzikos), Andrew 
(who was bishop of Crete), Nicholas (who knew a great deal about 
medicine and was at that time quaestor 155 ), Elpidios the deacon of the 
great church, Antiokhos the chartophylax, and many others of similar 
stripe. They anathematized in writing the holy sixth synod. 

When the Bulgars sneaked down through Philea to Stenon, they 
killed a large number of people and advanced all the way to the city. 
They found many men in transit and rich marriage feasts in progress; 
these were numerous and fine, with intricately wrought silver pieces 

154. It is interesting to note that, according to Theophanes, Germanos 
subscribed to Bardanes Philippikos’ council which briefly overturned the an- 
timonothelite third Council of Constantinople, but proved a champion of 
orthodoxy against iconoclasm after he became patriarch of Constantinople. 

155. In classical Roman times, the quaestor’s chief concern had been 
with financial matters. In the Byzantine Empire, he was an imperial commis- 
sioner responsible for dealing with people coming from the provinces to the 
capital, sending home those without a valid excuse for coming to Constantino- 
ple, and also for dealing with the city’s unemployed. In addition, the quaestor’s 
court was responsible for dealing with certain judicial areas, including forgery. 

7 8 

| and other trappings. They reached the Golden Gate after capturing all 

of Thrace, and then returned unharmed to their own country with 
uncountable flocks. In like fashion the Arabs took Mistheia and other 
| fortresses, working destruction on many families and countless flocks. 

j 383 ANNUS MUNDI 6205 (SEPTEMBER 1, 713— AUGUST 31, 714) 

2 . 8 . 2 . 8 . 

I In this year Abas attacked Romania; he took Pisidian Antioch, then 

ij withdrew with many prisoners. 

On the twenty-eighth of Peritios 156 there was a strong earthquake 
1 in Syria. 

The two years of Philippikos’ reign had passed in this way. After 
his birthday races had been held (with the Greens winning), the Em- 
peror decided on the sabbath of Pentecost to enter the public bath- 
: house of Zeuxippos on horseback (and to bring food and musical 

instruments) to wash himself there and breakfast with citizens of an- 
cient lineage. 

At the advice of George (surnamed Bouraphos) the patrician and 
count of the Opsikion, Rufus the protostrator of the Opsikion and the 
j patrician Theodore Myakios suddenly entered the city through the 

Golden Gate with the regiments of that theme which they had in 
Thrace. This was while Philippikos was taking his siesta; they rushed 
into the palace and caught him napping, spiriting him away to the 
oratory of the Greens. Though no-one knew it, they blinded him there. 
. On the next day (that is, Pentecost), when the people had gathered in 

j the great church, the protoasekretes 157 Artemios was crowned and 

renamed Anastasios. On the Saturday after Pentecost Theodore 
Myakios was blinded, and on the next Saturday George Bouraphos; 
they were exiled to Thessalonike. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6206 (SEPTEMBER 1, 714— AUGUST 31, 715) 
a.d. 706 

i Roman Emperor Artemios: 2 years: year 1 

i Arab ruler Walid: 9 years: year 9 

Bishop of Constantinople John: 3 years: year 3 
Bishop of Jerusalem John: 30 years: year 9 

| In this year Maslama raided Romania; after plundering Galatia, he 

withdrew with prisoners and booty. Still unafraid, Artemios appointed 
competent generals — men who were also skilled politicians — for the 

156. February. 

157. The chief of the imperial chancery. He renamed himself after an- 
other bureaucrat-turned-Emperor: Anastasios I (491-518). 



thematic cavalry. Even while the Arabs were arming themselves against 
384 Romania by both land and sea, the Emperor sent officers (led by Daniel 
of Sinope) to Walid in Syria to discuss peace terms. He ordered Daniel 
to make a precise examination of the Arabs’ move against Romania 
and their forces. After Daniel had gone and returned, he reported to 
the Emperor on their great expedition heading against the imperial 
city by land and sea. 

Then the Emperor commanded each man to be able to pay his 
own way for three years’ time, and ordered those unable to do so to 
abandon the city. He made sails and began to build warships, Greek- 
fire-carrying biremes, and huge triremes. He restored the land and sea 
walls, and installed arrow-shooting engines, stone-throwing engines, 
and catapults on the gates. He stored up a great amount of produce 
in the imperial granaries and secured it as best he could, and strength- 
ened the city to the best of his ability. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6207 (SEPTEMBER 1, 714 — AUGUST 31, 715 1 S8) 

Arab ruler Suleiman: 3 years 
Bishop of Constantinople Germanos : 15 years 
2 . 1 . 1 . 10 . 

In this year Walid died, with Suleiman succeeding to the rule. 

In this same second year of Artemios (who was also called Anas- 
tasios) the thirteenth indiction — on August 1 1 Germanos was trans- 
lated from the metropolis of Kyzikos to Constantinople. On that 
occasion a decree of transfer was announced: “By the decision and 
determination of the pious priests and deacons, of all the pious clergy, 
of the holy senate, and of the Christ-loving people of this God-guarded 
imperial city, divine grace (which ministers to sickness and fulfills the 
incomplete) translates the most holy president of the metropolitanate 
385 of the Kyzikenes so he can become bishop of this God-guarded and 
imperial city. This translation took place in the presence of Michael 
(a holy priest who was legate of the apostolic throne) and of other 
priests and bishops, and occurred during the reign of Artemios. 

Artemios learned that the Saracens’ expedition had sailed from 
Alexandria to Phoenicia to cut cypress-wood. He chose swift-sailing 
ships from his own forces and embarked in them regiments from the 
theme of the Opsikion, ordering them to rendezvous at Rhodes. As 
their general and chief he appointed John the deacon of the great 
church (known as “papa loannakis”), who was at that time minister of 

158. See the discussion ofTheophanes’ chronology in the introduction 
p. xvin. 


public finance. He gave his officers instructions as they embarked: they 
were to go to Phoenicia to burn the timber and the Agarenes’ equip- 
ment they found there. 

Although all the officers obeyed eagerly, the troops of the Opsik- 
ion would not acquiesce in this; they renounced the Emperor and put 
John to the sword. Thereupon the expeditionary force broke up, with 
j its components sailing off to their own homelands while the evildoers 

proceeded against the imperial city. They were leaderless until they 
1 came to Adramyttion. There they found a man named Theodosios, 

who was a native of that place. He was a tax collector, a good quiet easy 
man and a private citizen. They urged him to become Emperor, but 
he fled and hid in the mountains. When they found him they acclaimed 
him Emperor, compelling him to accept. 

When Artemios learned this he posted friendly officers in the city 
along with the expeditionary force he had organized; once he had 
armed them, he went to Nikaia and securely established himself there. 
The rebels reached and roused the whole theme of the Opsikion, as 
well as the Gothogreeks. 159 They seized a number of merchant ships 
; large and small, and came to Chrysopolis by both land and sea. Con- 

stantinople’s naval force was anchored in the harbor of St. Mamas; 160 

386 they fought with each other daily for six months. 

; When Constantinople’s force moved its base to the Neoresian 

harbor, Theodosios crossed to Thrace. Thanks to treachery, he took 
f the city through the gate of Blakhernai’s single wall. The outlaw troops 

I of the Opsikion and the Gothogreeks ran through the citizens’ houses 

during the night, sparing no-one and working great destruction. 

They seized those of Artemios’ officers who were in the city and 
Germanos the patriarch of Constantinople and took them to Nikaia to 
assure Artemios and his men. When Artemios saw them he lost hope 
i and, requesting a promise that he not be harmed, gave himself up and 

donned monastic garb. Theodosios did not harm him, but did exile 
him to Thessalonike. Philippikos had ruled for two years and nine 
months, Artemios for one year and three months. 

Leo, who was general of the Anatolic theme, fought on behalf of 
Artemios and was not subjected by Theodosios. Artavasdos the Ar- 
menian, the general of the Armeniac theme, conspired and cooperated 
with Leo, who agreed to give him his daughter as a wife. This he did. 

159. These are the descendants of Gothic soldiers who settled in Ana- 
tolia during the fourth and fifth centuries. By the eighth century they are, as 
their name indicates, largely Hellenized. 

160. St. Mamas is a suburb of Constantinople across the Golden Horn 
from the city, close to Galata. 




ANNUS MUNDI 6208 (SEPTEMBER 1, 715— AUGUST 31, 716) 
a.d. 708 

Roman Emperor Theodosios: 1 year: year 1 

Arab Tiller Suleiman: 3 years: year 2 

Bishop of Constantinople Germanos: 15 years: year 2 

Bishop of Jerusalem John: 30 years: year 11 

In this year Maslama attacked Constantinople, sending Suleiman 
ahead with an army by land and Umar by sea. He marched behind them 
with a great deal of military equipment. When Suleiman and Bakr 

387 reached Amorion, they wrote to Leo the general of the Anatolies: “We 
know the Roman Empire is rightfully yours. Come to us; let us discuss 
peace terms.” Suleiman observed that Amorion had no garrison and 
opposed the general because he backed Artemios. As he wanted to 
receive Maslama there, he laid siege to it. The Saracens began to 
acclaim the general Leo as Emperor as soon as he neared the city, and 
called on those within to do the same. When the Amorians saw that 
the Saracens were acclaiming him because they liked him, they did so 

When the general learned that Suleiman intended to destroy the 
city because it had no garrison or officers, he asked the Arab, “If you 
want me to come to you to discuss peace, why are you besieging this 

Suleiman said to him, “Come, and I will withdraw.” The general 
got a safe-conduct from him, then came to him with three hundred 
cavalrymen. When the Agarenes saw him they met him wearing their 
corselets and full coats of mail; he camped half a mile from their army. 
He went to them on three days, and they discussed peace terms and 
the Arabs’ withdrawal from Amorion. The Arabs said, “Make peace, 
and then we will withdraw.” 

The general knew they wanted to seize him. He invited most of 
the important Saracens to a dinner, but while they were eating Sulei- 
man sent out 3,000 armored Saracens to encircle him and guard him 
so he could not escape. When his sentries realized this, they told him, 
“A host of Saracen cavalry is surrounding us.” 

One of the Saracens, a cavalryman named Zubayr, came up to him 
and said, “A slave stole a great treasure and fled; that is why our cavalry 
is in action.” 

The general recognized the tricky ploy; he told them, “Do not be 
distracted. If he should come to our camp we will find him.” 

388 Although dismayed, through a man of his Leo was secretly able 
to tell the Amorians, “Fear God and do not give yourselves up; learn 
that Maslama is on his way.” Their bishop went out to him, and Leo 



told him the same thing. When Suleiman learned the bishop had gone 
to him, he sent the general a message: “Give us the bishop.” Because 
he was surrounded, Leo hid him and told one of Suleiman s men, 
“After we met he changed clothes and went to the mountains, either 
through the woods or by water.” 

When the Arabs made threats about the bishop, the general said, 
“He isn’t here. However, you go off to the emir, and I will come too, 
and we can talk everything over.” The Saracens let him go, thinking 
that when he had come to the emir they would seize him while he was 
in their midst. He rode off with two hundred men, as if hunting, and 
gave way to the left. The Saracens with him asked, “Where might you 
be going?” 

He said, “I want to shift camp to the springs.” 

They said, “Your idea is not a good one, and we will not come with 

Then the general told his own men, “They gave us this safe- 
conduct because they wanted to seize us, and through us to destroy the 
Christians. But they will not capture one of our remaining men or 
horses.” He kept on going for ten miles and then encamped. On the 
next day he sent a domesticus 161 who was one of his grooms to the 
Arabs, whom he told, “You gave me a safe-conduct, but you want to 
capture me by treachery. That is why I have withdrawn. 

Maslama was coming over the mountain passes, but Suleiman did 
not know it. His emirs and army rebelled against him: “Why are we 
besieging walls instead of raiding?” They struck their tents and with- 

Leo sent the turmarch Nikaias into Amorion with eight hundred 
soldiers and made most of the women and children leave. He himself 
389 went to Pisidia. 

When Maslama reached Kappadokia the Kappadokians lost hope 
for themselves and went out to him, calling on him to accept them. 
Since Maslama had heard that the Emperor Theodosios hated his 
general, he wanted to entice Leo and make peace with him, and to 
subject Romania through him. He asked the Kappadokians, Are you 
not subjects of this general?” 

“Yes,” said they. 

“Would you do anything if he does it?” 


Then he told them, “Go off to your towns, and do not be afraid 
of anything.” He commanded his army to do no damage in the gen- 
eral’s provinces. When the general learned this he realized Suleiman 
had told Maslama he had gotten away from him and withdrawn; he sent 

161. That is, a bodyguard. 





letters to Maslama: “I wanted to approach you, but when I came to 
Suleiman he tried to capture me. Now I am afraid to come to you.” 
Maslama told the general’s man, “I know the general is playing 
games with me, because I have not damaged his provinces at all.” 
The general’s man said to him, “That is not so; he is writing to 
you in very truth.” 

Then Maslama asked him, “What is the situation in Amorion, 
which he is near?” ' ! 

“It is well, and under his control,” he answered. 

Maslama became angry and reviled him: “Why should you lie?” 
He said, “It is just as I said; Leo has sent troops and a turmarch 
into Amorion and brought out the superfluous families.” Maslama was 
distressed and angered at this, and drove the man away. He had 
planned to gain control of Amorion during the summer, take over the 
expedition, and then return to Asia to winter there. Again he interro- 
gated the general’s man, who told him on oath, “Everything I have said 
to you is true, and the turmarch went in there with a thousand 
troops. 162 Leo removed all the people’s property and the families there 
without resources.” 

When Maslama heard this he wrote to the general, “Approach me; 
I will make peace, and will do everything you wish.” 

390 But the general saw that Maslama was near Masalaion, and that in 
another five days Maslama would have traversed his provinces. He sent 
out two men of consular rank and told Maslama, “I have received your 
letters and I accept your plan. Behold, I am on my way to you. But as 
you know, I am a general, and have to have my money and silver and 
army following me. Send me a safe-conduct for each of them. If affairs 
turn out as I want of you, well and good: then I will return without 
penalty and without being put into difficulty.” 

At Theodosiana Maslama told the men of consular rank, “I see 
your general is playing with me.” 

“Heaven forbid!” they said. 

While they were returning to their general with the written 
pledge, Maslama (who had a large army and could not stay in one 
place) went to Akroi'nos. feeing that Maslama had gone past his prov- 
inces, Leo went to Nikomcdeia. He met Theodosios’ son and captured 
him, the entire imperial retinue, and the palace’s leading figures. The 
general took counsel with his men; he took the Emperor’s son to 
Chrysopolis as a prisoner. 

Maslama went back to Asia and wintered there, as did Umar in 

162. At the same time as Leo’s man is insisting on his truthfulness to 
Maslama, he is exaggerating by two hundred men the number of troops Leo 
had put into Amorion. 


When Theodosios learned what had happened he consulted the 
patriarch Germanos and the senate. Through the patriarch he received 
a pledge from Leo that he would not be harmed and that the church 
! would not be disturbed, and on those terms entrusted the Empire to 

him. Theodosios and his son became clerics, and lived out the rest of 
:g their lives in peace. 

| Maslama came to Pergamon and besieged it; thanks to the devil’s 

j action and God’s concession he took it. For, at the urging of a wizard, 

the inhabitants of the city brought out a pregnant woman who was near 
I giving birth and cut her open. They took the fetus and boiled it in a 

' 391 three-legged pot. All those who wanted to fight dipped their right 

j sleeves in this sacrifice, disgusting to God. Hence they were given over 

! to their enemies. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6209 (SEPTEMBER 1, 716— AUGUST 31, 717) 

Roman Emperor Leo the Isaurian: 24 years 
6209. 709. 1. 3. 3. 12. 

In this year Leo became Emperor. He derived from Germa- 
nikeia, but actually from Isauria. With his parents he had been reset- 
tled in Thracian Mesembria by the Emperor Justinian during his 
first reign. When Justinian came there with the Bulgars during his 
second reign, Leo met him with a gift of five hundred sheep. Flat- 
tered, Justinian made him a spatharios on the spot and judged him 
a true friend. 

Some men who were jealous of Leo falsely accused him of grasp- 
ing for the imperial power. There was an inquiry about this, with the 
result that his accusers were disgraced, but from then on many began 
to speak of this notion. If, indeed, Justinian did not wish to harm Leo 
openly, he did begin to feel anger toward him. 

He sent Leo to Alania with money to help the Alans against the 
Abasgians because the Saracens had conquered Abasgia, Lazika, and 
Iberia. Leo went to Lazika, and stored the money at Phasis. He took 
a few of the locals to Apsilia and, crossing the Caucasus Mountains, 
reached Alania. But Justinian now wanted to destroy him, and sent out 
a messenger who took the money back from Phasis. 

The Alans received the spatharios with all honor, paid attention 
to his plans, and invaded and captured Abasgia. The lord of the Abas- 
gians told the Alans, “As I have found, Justinian does not have anyone 
else who is as big a liar as this man. The Emperor made him go off to 
work with you against us, your neighbors. Leo has even lied to you 
about his promise of money, for Justinian sent a man and took it back. 
Give him to us and we will pay you 3,000 nomismata; also, we will not 
break off the friendship we have always felt.” 



392 But the Alans said, “We do not obey him on account of money, 

but because of our love for the Emperor.” 

The Abasgians sent them men again, saying, “Give him to us and 
we will give you 6,000 nomismata.” As they wanted to learn the Abas- 
gians’ land thoroughly, the Alans agreed to take the 6,000 nomismata 
and give up the general. But they told Leo everything, and said to him, 
“As you see, the road to Romania is closed, and you do not know how 
to cross. Instead, let us turn round and agree with them to give you 
up. We will send our men off with them, learn their mountain passes, 
and raid and devastate their land to do your service.” 

So the Alans’ envoys went to Abasgia and agreed to give up the 
spatharios; they received gifts of friendship from the Abasgians. The 
Abasgians sent back more envoys with the amount of money to get the 
spatharios. The Alans told Leo, “Just as we said before, these men 
have come to take you, and Abasgia awaits you. When we near their 
land, our agents will not stop going to them. Furthermore, in order to 
keep from giving away our goal, we will openly give you up. But when 
your party has left, we will secretly come back to kill them, and will hide 
you until our army is mustered and we can invade their land by sur- 

This, in fact, is what happened. The Abasgians’ envoys took the 
spatharios and his men, bound them, and went off. The Alans and their 
lord Itaxes overtook the Abasgians from behind; they killed them and 
hid Leo. Once they had levied troops, they marched on Abasgia and 
unexpectedly penetrated its passes. They took a great number of pris- 
393 oners and worked destruction on the Abasgians. 

When Justinian heard that his goal had been accomplished even 
without his money, he sent letters to the Abasgians: “If you preserve 
our general and let him come through your territory unharmed, we will 
suffer all your errors.” They were overjoyed to agree to this, and sent 
a message back to Alania: “We will give you our children as hostages; 
give us the spatharios so we can send him to Justinian.” But Leo would 
not accept this; he said, “May God open me a gate so I can go away, 
as I will not do so through Abasgia.” 

After a certain time a force of Romans and Armenians invaded 
Lazika and besieged Arkhaiopolis, but retreated when they heard the 
Saracens were coming. About two hundred got cut off from them, 
these men moved north and raided in Apsilia and the Caucasus. When 
the Saracens overran Lazika, the army of the Romans and Armenians 
fled to Phasis. The two hundred men still in the Caucasus Mountains 
stayed there as brigands, since they had lost hope for themselves. 

When the Alans learned this, they thought there was a Roman host 
in the Caucasus; rejoicing at this; they said to the spatharios, The 
Romans are near — go to them.” He took fifty Alans and crossed the 



peaks of the Caucasus with snowshoes (in May!). He found the men 
and joyfully asked them, “Where is your army?” 

They said, “When the Saracens attacked, it went back to Romania. 
Since we could not get there, we have been on the way to Alania.” 
“What shall we do now?” he asked them. 

“We cannot travel this land,” they said. 

The spatharios answered, “It is impossible to leave by any other 

There was a fortress there called Sideron, in which was a comman- 
der named Pharasmanios, who was subject to the Saracens and at 
peace with the Armenians. The spatharios sent him a message: “Be- 
cause you are at peace with the Armenians, make peace with me as well. 

394 Come under the Empire, and help us go down to the sea so we can 
cross to Trebizond.” 163 Since Pharasmanios did not choose to do this, 
the spatharios sent out some of his men and some Armenians, order- 
ing them to lay an ambush: “When they leave the fortress to work, 
overpower as many of them as you can and seize the gates from the 
men outside until we get there too.” They went there to lay the am- 
bush, and made a sudden attack when the garrison came out to work; 
they captured the gates and took many prisoners. 

But Pharasmanios was still in the citadel with a few men; when the 
spatharios arrived, he tried to talk him into opening the gates in peace. 
He did not wish to do so, and fought. Since his citadel was strong, Leo 
could not take it. 

When Marinos (the leader of the Apsilians) learned the fortress 
was under siege he grew fearful, as he thought the spatharios had a 
large army. He took three hundred men to the spatharios, and told 
him, “I will maintain you until you reach the coast.” Once Pharas- 
manios had seen this state of affairs, he said to the spatharios, “Take 
my child as a hostage; I agree to serve the Empire.” 

Leo took his child, then told him, “What sort of servant of the 
Empire do you call yourself, when you are talking with us while shut 
up? We cannot withdraw until we have taken your citadel.” 

Then Pharasmanios said, “Give me your pledge.” 

The spatharios promised he would not treat him unjustly, and 
would enter the citadel with only thirty men. But he did not keep his 
promise, ordering the thirty who entered with him, “When we go in, 
seize the gates so all of us can get in.” After this was done he ordered 
the citadel set afire. There was a great conflagration; the families came 
out, snatching up whatever they could of their property. 

After they spent another three days there, the troops razed the 
fort’s walls to the ground. With the Apsilian leader Marinos they went 

163. A Byzantine port on the southern shore of the Black Sea. 




to Apsilia, where the Apsilians received them with great honor. From 

395 there Leo went to the coast, crossed, and went to Justinian. 

After Justinian was killed and Philippikos blinded, Artemios be- 
came Emperor; he appointed Leo general over the Anatolies. Artemios 
was ousted and Theodosios became Emperor; the Roman state was 
being demolished by barbarian inroads, by those who bore the guilt 
for Justinian’s blood, and by Philippikos’ impious actions. Leo fought 
on Artemios’ side, opposing Theodosios. He had as conspirator and 
helper Artavasdos the general of the Armeniacs; after Leo became 
Emperor he married Artavasdos to his daughter Anna, and also ap- 
pointed him curopalates. 

Maslama, who had wintered in Asia, received Leo’s promises but 
did not accept anything from him, since he knew Leo was playing 
games with him. When he came to Abydos, he sent a large army across 
to Thrace and set it in motion against the imperial city. He also wrote 
to the caliph Suleiman that he should bring up his army, which was 
already ready. 

On August 15 Maslama put the city under siege, while also punish- 
ing the Thracian fortresses. He surrounded the land wall with a stock- 
ade, digging a great ditch and erecting above it a parapet-like wall of 
unmortared stone. 

On September 1 of the first indiction Christ’s enemy Suleiman 
and his emirs arrived with their expedition. He had front-line ships, 
fighting merchantmen, and warships; their number was 1,800, and 
they anchored from Magnaura to Kyklobion. After two days the south 

396 wind began to blow; they left that area and sailed past the city. Some 
crossed to the suburbs of Eutropios and Anthemios, 164 while others 
anchored in Thrace from Galata to Kleidion. 165 

The Arabs’ great ships were useless because they were weighed 
down by their cargo, and so they left behind about twenty merchant- 
men to guard their backs; these had about a hundred armored men to 
protect them. Good weather came while they were in the Bosporos, 
and its narrow passage was not very windy, so Maslama pushed his 
ships farther forward. With God’s help, the pious Emperor 166 immedi- 
ately sent fireships against them from the citadel, which turned them 
into blazing wrecks. Some of them, still burning, smashed into the sea 
wall, while others sank in the deep men and all, and still others, flaming 

164. These districts are on the Asiatic coast of the Bosporos, about 
halfway between the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea. 

165. Galata is, of course, just across the Golden Horn from Constantino- 
ple. Kleidion is on the European side of the Bosporos, not far north of Galata. 

166. Theophanes is plainly (and carelessly) copying from a contempo- 
rary source, for of his own free will he would never term Leo III, who began 
the iconoclastic controversy, “pious”! 

furiously, went as far off course as the islands of Oxeia and Plateia. 167 

Because of this the spirits of the city’s inhabitants were lifted, but 
their foes shivered in terror, recognizing how strong the liquid fire 
was. They had planned to anchor at the sea walls and to attack the 
battlements at the narrow neck of land on the same evening. But, at 
the intercession of His wholly chaste Mother, God shattered their plan. 

On that same night the Emperor mysteriously drew up the 
chain, 168 but the enemy thought he wanted to entice them and would 
stretch it out again: they did not dare come in to anchor within the 
confines of Galata. Instead, they sailed to the bay of Sosthenios 169 and 
warded their fleet there. On October 8 their ruler Suleiman died, and 
Umar became caliph. The winter was very severe in Thrace, so that for 
a hundred days crystalline snow covered the earth. A great number of 
the enemy’s horses, camels, and other beasts died. 

When it was spring, Sufyan arrived with an expedition organized 
in Egypt; he had four hundred food-carrying merchantmen and war- 
ships. When he learned of the power of Greek fire, he bypassed Bi- 
397 thynia; after crossing over to the other shore, he anchored at the 
harbor of Kalos Agros. Yezid soon arrived with another expedition, 
which had been formed in Africa. He had two hundred sixty merchant- 
men, with both arms and supplies. Like Sufyan, he had learned about 
the liquid fire. He anchored at Satyros, Bryas, and as far away as 
Kartalimen. 170 

The Egyptians 171 of the two expeditions consulted among them- 
selves. That night they took the merchant ships’ light boats and, ac- 
claiming the Emperor, fled to the city, so that the sea seemed entirely 
covered with wood from Hiereia to the city. The Emperor learned 
from them of the two fleets hidden in the bay. He readied fire-carrying 
siphons and put them aboard warships and two-storied ships, then 
dispatched them against the two fleets. Thanks to the cooperation of 
God through His wholly immaculate Mother’s intercession, the enemy 
was sunk on the spot. Seizing booty and the Arabs’ supplies, our men 
returned with joy and victory. 

Under Mardasan, the Arabs’ army once more came through the 
Gates, advancing up to Nikaia and Nikomedeia. The imperial officers 

167. About twenty miles south of Constantinople. 

168. A stout chain ran between Constantinople and Galata to protect the 
Golden Horn from enemy ships. 

169. An inlet about halfway up the European coast of the Bosporos. 

170. These are towns on the Asian shore of the Sea of Marmora; Kartali- 
men is more than thirty miles from Constantinople. 

171. As opposed to the Arabs. Egypt, which had been under Muslim rule 
for only a little more than seventy years, was still a predominantly Christian 




and their infantry (who had been hiding in Libon and Sophon like 
Mardaites 172 ) suddenly attacked them; they broke them up and made 
them flee the spot. 

Once the opposite shore 173 had gained a little security, a great 
number of small craft could emerge from the city and get food for it. 
Similarly, the small fishing boats at the islands and men on the walls 
around the city were not prevented from catching fish. 

Since the Arabs were extremely hungry, they ate all their dead 
animals: horses, asses, and camels. Some even say they put dead men 
and their own dung in pans, kneaded this, and ate it. A plague-like 
disease descended on them, and destroyed a countless throng. 174 Also, 
the Bulgars attacked them and, as say those who know such things 
exactly, slaughtered 22,000 Arabs. Many terrible things happened to 
them at that time, so that from their own efforts they realized that God 
398 and His all-holy maiden Mother watched over this city and the Empire 
of the Christians. God’s ability to fulfill prayer for those who truly call 
on Him cannot be blocked, even if, because of our sins, we learn only 
a little. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6210 (SEPTEMBER 1, 717— AUGUST 31, 718) 

Arab ruler Umar: 2 years 
2. 1. 4. 13. 

In this year the protospatharios Sergios, the governor of Sicily, 
heard that the Arabs were besieging the imperial city. At Sicily he 
crowned his own Emperor: a Constantinopolitan named Basil, the son 
of Gregory Onomagoulos. He was renamed Tiberius. He prepared 
defenses and created his own officers (with the advice of Sergios). 

When the Emperor heard this he sent out his own chartularius 175 
Paul, making him a patrician and general of Sicily. For support Leo 
gave him two spatharioi and a few men, orders to the western officers, 
and a state letter to the army. By night they boarded an outbound 
warship, and went somewhere near Kyzikos. They traveled from place 
to place by both land and sea, and reached Sicily unexpectedly. Sergios 
was amazed when he heard they had entered Syracuse. Knowing his 
own guilt, he fled to the Lombards, who were nearby in Calabria. The 
army was assembled and the state letter read: it assured the troops that 
the Empire endured and the city was in good spirits about its enemies. 
Also, it related the details about the two fleets. The men at once 

172. That is, like mountain brigands. 

173. Where the Arabs were. 

174. If the preceding sentence is true, this is hardly surprising! 

175. Privy secretary. 




acclaimed Leo as Emperor and gave to his general Basil Onomagoulos 
; and the officers he had appointed. 

Paul decapitated Basil and his chief general; after he had cut off 
their heads, he sent them swathed in cloth to the Emperor by means 
399 of his two spatharioi. He beat and tonsured the rest, slit some of their 
noses, and exiled them. In this way there was a great settlement of 
affairs in the west. Sergios asked the general for a pledge that he would 
not be harmed, and came to him after he got it. They pacified the entire 
western area. 

Umar, who was ruling the Arabs, urged Maslama to retire. The 
Arabs pulled out in great disgrace on August 15. While their expedi- 
tion was on its way back, a furious storm fell on them and scattered 
them: it came from God at the intercession of His Mother. God 
drowned some of them by Prokonnessos and other islands, and others 
on Apostrophoi and other promontories. Those who were left had got 
through the Aegean Sea when God’s fearful wrath attacked them: a 
fiery shower descended on them, making the sea’s water foam up. 
Once their pitch 176 was gone, the ships went to the bottom men and 
all. Only ten survived to report to us and the Arabs the magnitude of 
what God had done to them. Our men were able to seize five when they 
ran into them, but the other five escaped to tell Syria of God’s might. 

In the same year, because there had been a strong earthquake in 
Syria, Umar banned wine 177 from his cities and forced the Christians 
to apostasize. He exempted the apostates from taxation but killed 
those who refused, which made many martyrs. He promulgated a law 
that a Christian’s testimony against a Saracen was not acceptable. He 
also sent a doctrinal letter to the Emperor Leo, thinking to persuade 
him to apostasize. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6211 (SEPTEMBER 1, 718— AUGUST 31, 719) 

3. 2. 5. 14. 

In this year a still more impious son was born to the impious 
400 Emperor Leo: Constantine, the forerunner of the Antichrist. On De- 
cember 25 Leo’s wife Maria was crowned in the triklinos of the Au- 
gusteion. She went to the great church alone — without her husband — 
and without ceremony. She prayed before going in to the altar, then 
went into the great baptistery. Her husband and a few of his intimates 
had preceded her in. While Germanos the chief prelate was baptizing 
Leo’s successor (in both his evil and his rule) Constantine, the boy, 

176. Which, of course, caulked the ships. 

177. Islamic law always prohibited Muslims from drinking wine; Umar 
is attempting to apply the law to all his subjects, whether Muslim or not. 


because he was so young, gave a terrible, foul-smelling harbinger: he 
defecated in the holy font, as say those who were accurate eyewit- 
nesses. 178 This made the patriarch Germanos prophetically say, “This 
is a sign that in the future great evil shall befall the Christians and the 
church because of him.” The leaders of the themes and senate received 
Constantine after his baptism. After the divine liturgy the Augusta 
Maria returned with her baptized son; she distributed largess all the 
way from the church to the Bronze Gate of the palace. 

In the same year Niketas Xylinites wrote to Artemios in Thessalo- 
nike that he should go to Tervel and move against Leo with a Bulgarian 
alliance. Obeying Niketas, he went off to Tervel, who gave him an army 
and fifty centenaria 179 of gold. Artemios took them and moved on 
Constantinople, but when the city did not receive him favorably, the 
Bulgars handed him over to Leo and went home. The Emperor treated 
them kindly, but executed Artemios and Xylinites. He also confiscated 
the property of Xylinites, who was a magistros and had acquired quite 
a lot. Since the patrician Sisinnios (surnamed Rhendakis) had been 
with Artemios, the Bulgars likewise beheaded him. They also gave the 
Emperor the archbishop of Thessalonike, who was decapitated with 
401 Artemios. Leo executed Isoes the patrician and count of the Opsikion, 
Theoktistes the protoasekretes, and Niketas Anthrax the officer of the 
walls because they were Artemios’ friends and colleagues. After he had 
slit the noses and confiscated the property of the rest, he exiled them. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6212 (SEPTEMBER 1, 719— AUGUST 31, 720) 
a.d. 712 

Roman Emperor Leo: 24 years: year 4 

Arab ruler Yezid: 4 years: year 1 

Bishop of Constantinople Germanos: 15 years: year 6 

Bishop of Jerusalem John: 30 years: year 15 

In this year — the third indiction — Constantine was crowned by his 
father Leo in the tribunal of the nineteen Akkubita. 180 The blessed 
patriarch Germanos made the usual prayers. 

In the same year, after having been caliph of the Arabs for two 
years and four months, Umar died and Yezid became caliph. In Persia 
a rebel who was himself named Yezid the son of Muhallab rose up 

178. This is the origin of the derisive title Kopronymos (“Dung-name”) 
by which Constantine V is sometimes known. 

179. One centenarium equals one hundred pounds. 

180. A ceremonial banquet-hall, built by Constantine I, on the western 
side of the palace complex. 



against him, and many inhabitants of Persia went over to him. Yezid 
dispatched Maslama, who killed Yezid the son of Muhallab and resub- 
jected Persia. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6213 (SEPTEMBER 1, 720— AUGUST 31, 721) 

5. 2. 7. 16. 

In this year there appeared a Syrian false Christ who deceived the 
Hebrews by saying he was the Christ, the Son of God. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6214 (SEPTEMBER 1, 721— AUGUST 31, 722) 

6. 3. 8. 17. 

In this year the Emperor forced the Hebrews and the Monta- 
nists 181 to be baptized. The Hebrews ate and partook of the holy gift 
but, as they had not been baptized of their own free will, washed off 
their baptism and defiled the faith. The Montanists settled matters for 
themselves through an oracle. They set a day on which they went into 
their heretical churches and incinerated themselves. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6215 (SEPTEMBER 1, 722— AUGUST 31, 723) 

7. 4. 9. 18. 

In this year a Jewish wizard who made his headquarters at Phoeni- 
cian Laodikeia came to Yezid. He told him that he would rule the Arab 
402 state for forty years if he would condemn the honored and revered 
icons in the Christians’ churches throughout his entire empire. The 
senseless Yezid believed him and promulgated an all-embracing edict 
against the holy icons. But by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and 
the intercession of His uncorrupt Mother and all the saints, Yezid died 
in the same year, no sooner than his satanic doctrine had been heard 
by the masses. 

But the Emperor Leo caused us many evils, because he shared this 
malignant, illegal, and evil doctrine. He found a partisan for his stupid- 
ity: a man named Beser, who had been a Christian prisoner in Syria 
and had apostasized from his faith in Christ and converted to the 
Arabs’ doctrine. He had been freed from his servitude to them not 

181. A heretical Phrygian sect, originating in the second century and 
savagely persecuted since the days of Justinian I. They were ecstatics, and saw 
themselves as new vehicles for the Holy Spirit. They denied the power of 
priests to forgive sins incurred after baptism, and confused the persons of the 
Trinity, to the distress of the orthodox. 



long before, and had reached the Roman Emperor. Leo favored him 
because he was physically strong and because he agreed with Leo’s 
wicked doctrine; he was a comrade in this great evil the Emperor 
worked. Also, the totally impure bishop of Nakoleia, who lived with 
Leo, wickedly concurred with his natural stupidity. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6216 (SEPTEMBER 1, 723— AUGUST 31, 724) 

Arab ruler Hisham: 19 years 
8. 1. 10. 19. 

I have come to discuss the matter of the blessed Stephen, the 
pope of Rome, 182 and how he fled to the Frankish land for his salva- 

This famous Stephen had withstood many evils from Astulph the 
king of the Lombards. He fled to the Franks: to Pepin, the majordomo 
and viceroy in charge of administering the Frankish people and all 
their affairs. For it was a custom among them that their lord (that is, 
the king) reigned by virtue of his family, but administered nothing and 
did nothing but senselessly eat and drink. He passed his time at home, 
403 but on May 1 he sat before the entire tribe, bowed low to them and 
was bowed to by them, was brought the customary gifts and gave them 
in return, and then lived by himself until the next May. He had an 
official called a majordomo, who administered all affairs according to 
his own will and that of the tribe. Those of the royal house were called 
“kristatai,” which means “those with hair down their backs,” for they 
had hair growing down along their backs like swine. 183 

At any rate, Stephen was being harassed by Astulph’s cruelty and 
rudeness. All at once he turned on him, and went to the Frankish lands 
to accomplish whatever he could. Once he had gone, he invested 
Pepin, a man who was quite eminent at that time, with the royal power. 
Not only did he have leadership over affairs from the king, but had 
fought the Arabs who had crossed from Africa to Spain and dared 
range themselves against the Franks (the Arabs have held Spain until 
the present). By the Eridanos river 184 Pepin met them with his army 

182. For Arab affairs, Theophanes’ chronology is quite accurate. This is 
not the case in regard to western events. Stephen II was pope from 752-757; 
his flight to the Franks took place in the winter of 753-754. 

183. This is Theophanes’ confused description of the coiffure of the 
Merovingian kings of the Franks; they wore their hair long as a badge of 

184. Again, Theophanes’ chronology is vague. The battle of Tours took 
place in 732 or 733, and was won by Pepin’s father Charles Martel (“the 
hammer”). Interestingly, the monk correctly states the name of the Arab 
commander who opposed the Franks. 



and killed their commander Abd ar-Rahman and a host not easy to 

Pepin’s people marveled at and loved him not only because of this, 
but also from other exploits. When Stephen freed him of his false oath 
to the king, tonsured the ex-king and shut him into a monastery with 
honor and rest, Pepin was the first man to become the leader of his 
people who did not do so by virtue of his family. This Pepin had two 
sons, Charles and his brother Carloman. 

In the same year died Yezid, who had been caliph for four years; his 
brother Hisham succeeded him. He began to build palaces in every city 
and town, to sow crops, and to create gardens and fountains. He also 
attacked Romania, but withdrew after squandering many of his men. 

Stephen the pope of Rome fled to the Franks. 

404 ANNUS MUNDI 6217 (SEPTEMBER 1, 724— AUGUST 31, 725) 

Bishop of Rome , 185 Gregory: 9 years 186 

9 . 2 . 7. 18S 11 . 20 . 

In this year the impious Emperor began to frame an order 187 
condemning the august, holy icons. When Gregory, the pope of Rome, 

185. As Rome has the highest status among the patriarchates, the regnal 
years of the popes precedes those of the patriarchs of Constantinople (see 
note 9). 

186 This papal reign is a conflation of the papacies of Gregory II (715— 
731) and Gregory III (731-741). 

187. This is one of the most vexing passages in Theophanes. The word 
rendered “order” here is in Greek Xoyov (nominative, Xbyo<;), a term with a 
bewildering multiplicity of possible meanings. Followed here are the conclu- 
sions of Milton V. Anastos, Cambridge Medieval History, 4, part 1 (second edi- 
tion, Cambridge, England, 1966), 61-104, 835-848, and his article “Leo Ill’s 
Edict Against the Images in the Year 726-27 and Italo-Byzantine Relations 
Between 726 and 730,” Polychordia: Festschrift Franz Dolger zum 75. Geburtstag 
(Amsterdam, 1968), III, 5-41 and especially 8-9. Using Latin sources and later 
Byzantine hagiographical writing, Anastos convincingly demonstrates the cor- 
rectness of his interpretation. The opposing viewpoint, wherein this passage 
is to be construed as meaning that in 726 the Emperor began discussion of the 
issue of the icons, but did not take formal action against them until January, 
730 (the date of the dismissal of the iconophile patriarch Germanos), is cham- 
pioned by George Ostrogorsky, “Les debuts de la querelle des images. Me- 
langes Charles Diehl (Paris, 1930), I, 235-255, and History of the Byzantine State, 

Related to the issue of the outbreak of iconoclasm is the transfer by the 
Byzantine Empire of Illyricum, southern Italy, and Sicily from papal jurisdic- 
tion to that of the patriarch of Constantinople (although Steven Runciman, 
The Eastern Schism: A Study of the Papacy and the Eastern Churches during the Xlth 
and Xllth Centuries [Oxford, 1955], 20, ascribes it to “the general Isaurian 





learned this he stopped the tribute from Italy and Rome and wrote Leo 
a doctrinal letter to the effect that it was not proper for the Emperor 
to issue a command concerning the faith or to make innovations in the 
ancient doctrines of the church, which had been established by the 
holy fathers. 

In the same year a raging torrent overflowed and got into Edessa, 
where it destroyed many people. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6218 (SEPTEMBER 1, 726— AUGUST 31, 727 188 ) 
10. 3. 2. 12. 21. 

In this year Maslama attacked and took Kappadokian Caesarea. 

There was a plague in Syria. 

The caliph’s camels became a burnt-offering in the church of St. 

Hisham’s son Muawiyah attacked Romania, went here and there, 
and withdrew". 

In the same year — the ninth indiction — for some days during sum- 
mer a smoke, as if from a burning oven, arose from the depths of the 
sea between the islands of Thera 189 and Therasia. Little by little it 
thickened and petrified from the heat of the fiery combustion, and the 
smoke became entirely incandescent. With the thickening of its earthy 
nature it sent forth great lumps of pumice like hilltops: they reached 
all Asia Minor, Lesbos, Abydos, and the coast of Macedonia, so the 
whole face of this sea was full of floating lumps of pumice. 

From the midst of the huge conflagration an island came up from 
the bowels of the earth and was joined to the island called Hiera. It had 
not existed at all before but, just as Thera and Therasia were once 

scheme for tidying the administration of the Empire”). As with the question 
of iconoclasm’s beginning, there is a problem in dating the ecclesiastical shift. 
Anastos, “The Transfer of Illyricum, Calabria and Sicily to the Jurisdiction of 
the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 732-33,” Silloge bizantina in onore di Silvio 
Giuseppe Mercati (Rome, 1957), 14-3 1 , puts the transfer in the years mentioned 
in his article’s title, as does Runciman, loc. cit. Venance Grumel, “L’annexion 
de 1 Illyricum, de la Sidle et de la Calabre au patriarcat de Constantinople,” 
Reckerches de science religieuse, 40 (1952), 191-200, argues that the shift did not 
take place until the early 750s during the reign of Constantine V; Ostrogorsky, 
History of the Byzantine Stale , 170, concurs with him. On balance, the earlier date 
seems preferable, linking this transfer to the confiscation of the papal patrimo- 
nies by Leo III (Theophanes, annus mundi 6224:de Boor, 410, this translation 

188. See the introduction’s discussion of Theophanes’ chronology, p. 


189. Thera is itself a volcanic island; a previous explosion more than 
2,000 years before this time may well have given rise to the legend of Atlantis. 

405 thrown up, so was this one then: during the time of God’s foe Leo. 

Leo deduced that God was angry at him, but still more shamelessly 
incited battle against the august, holy icons. He had as an ally Beser, 
who had denied God and was his match in this sort of nonsense. Both 
of them were totally ignorant and stupid; from this sprang many evils. 

The masses of the imperial city, dismayed at their newfangled 
teachings, intended to attack Leo. They killed some of the Emperor’s 
men who had destroyed the icon of the Lord on the Bronze Gate, with 
the result that Leo caused many of them (especially those distin- 
guished by noble birth or rhetorical skill) to be punished for their piety 
by mutilation, lashes, exile, and fines. This brought an end to the 
schools and pious education which had prevailed since the time of 
Constantine the Great, who is among the saints. The Saracen- 
minded 190 Leo condemned them and many other fine things. 

At this time the men of the themes of Hellas and the Cyclades 
islands, impelled by holy zeal, entered into agreements with each other 
and rebelled against Leo in a great sea-campaign. Kosmas was with 
them as their candidate for the crown; Agallianos (the turmarch of the 
theme of Hellas) and Stephen led their army. They neared the imperial 
city on April 18 of the tenth indiction and engaged the Byzantines, but 
were defeated because their ships were consumed by the artificial fire. 
Some men went to the bottom of the sea, among them Agallianos, who 
drowned himself in his armor, but the survivors went over to the 
victors. Kosmas and Stephen were beheaded, the impious Leo was 
strengthened in his evil ways, and his faction stepped up its persecu- 
tion of piety. 

At around the summer solstice of this tenth indiction (after the evil 
victory of Leo’s partisans) a body of Saracens attacked Bithynian 
Nikaia. It had two emirs: Amr went ahead with 15,000 light-armed men 
to surround the unprepared city, while Muawiyah followed with an- 
406 other 85,000. Even after a long siege and the partial destruction of the 
walls, they could not enter Nikaia’s sacred precinct of the honored and 
holy fathers because of its inhabitants’ prayers, which were acceptable 
to God. The images of the fathers were set up there, and have been 
honored until the present by their fellow believers. 

Constantine, one of Artavasdos’ grooms, saw an icon of the 
Mother of God. He picked up a stone and threw it at the icon, and when 
it fell he broke it and trampled it. In a dream he saw our Mistress 
standing beside him. She said, “Do you think you have done Me any 
sort of good turn? Actually, this will rebound on your own head.” On 
the next day the Saracens attacked the wall and battle was joined. Like 
a good soldier, this miserable fellow ran to the wall. He was hit by a 

190. That is, opposed to icons. 




stone shot from a catapult, which smashed his head and face; thus he 
received a repayment worthy of his impiety. 

After the Arabs accumulated a large body of prisoners and booty, 
they withdrew. God reveals this to the impious: not because of his piety 
did Leo prevail over his fellow citizens, as he boasted, but for a divine 
reason and an ineffable judgement. The city of the holy fathers 191 beat 
back the Arabs’ might by the images in it (which most definitely were 
honored) and their intercession. The impious fellow not only was 
mistaken about the natural reverence due the revered icons, but also 
about the intercession of the wholly sacred Mother of God and of the 
saints. Like his teachers the Arabs, the totally bloody man loathed their 

From that time on he shamelessly harassed the blessed Germanos 
(the patriarch of Constantinople) and found fault with all the Emper- 
ors, chief prelates, and Christian folk who had preceded him, on the 
ground that they had been idolaters because of their reverence for the 
august, holy icons. Because of his faithlessness and uncouthness he did 
not withdraw his statement on natural reverence. 

407 ANNUS MUNDI 6219 (SEPTEMBER 1, 727— AUGUST 31, 728) 

11 . 4 . 3 . 13 . 22 . 

In this year Muawiyah took the fortress of Ateous, then withdrew. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6220 (SEPTEMBER 1, 728— AUGUST 31, 729) 

12 . 5 . 4 . 14 . 23 . 

In this year the son of the Khagan (the ruler of Khazaria) attacked 
Media and Armenia. On encountering the Arab general in Armenia, 
he killed him and his host. He ravaged the land of the Armenians and 
that of the Medes and returned after terrorizing the Arabs. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6221 (SEPTEMBER 1, 729— AUGUST 31, 730) 

13 . 6 . 5 . 15 . 24 . 

In this year Maslama attacked the land of the Turks. 192 When they 
met one another in battle men fell on both sides. Maslama became 
fearful and withdrew in flight through the mountains of Khazaria. 

In the same year the lawbreaking Emperor Leo raged against the 

191. Nikaia was the site of the first ecumenical council, and would be that 
of the seventh council in 787. 

192. That is, the Khazars. 



true faith. He brought in the blessed Germanos and began to entice 
him with coaxing words. The blessed chief prelate told him, “We have 
heard there will be a condemnation of the holy and revered icons, but 
not during your reign.” When the Emperor forced him to say during 
whose reign, he said, “During the reign of Konon.” 

The Emperor said, “In fact, my baptismal name is Konon.” 

The patriarch said, “Heaven forbid, my lord, that this evil should 
come to pass through your rule. For he who does it is the forerunner 
of the Antichrist and the overthrower of the incarnate and divine 
dispensation.” Because of this the tyrant became angry; he put heavy 
pressure on the blessed man, just as Herod once had on John the 
Baptist. But the patriarch reminded him of his agreements before he 
became Emperor: he had given Germanos a pledge secured by God 
that he would in no way disturb God’s church from its apostolic laws, 
which God had handed down. But the wretch was not ashamed at this. 
He watched Germanos and contended with him, and put forth state- 
ments to the effect that if he found Germanos opposing his rule, he 
would condemn the holder of the throne 193 like a conspirator and not 
408 like a confessor. 

In this Leo had Germanos’ pupil and synkellos 194 Anastasios as an 
ally. He was on good terms with Anastasios because Anastasios agreed 
with his impiety: the successor to the throne was an adulterer. The 
blessed patriarch was not unaware that Anastasios was crooked; imitat- 
ing his Master, he wisely and gently reminded him of what betrayal 
entailed, as if to another Iscariot. But when he saw Anastasios had 
inalterably gone astray, he turned to him so that Anastasios stepped 
on the back of his robe. When Anastasios went in to the Emperor, 
Germanos said, “Don’t hurry, for you will enter the gate through 
which the chariots come.” 

Anastasios was troubled by this statement, as by other things he 
had heard, but was unaware of its prophetic nature. It came true at last 
after fifteen years, in the third year of Constantine the persecutor (the 
twelfth indiction). This persuaded everyone that it had been foretold 
to the senseless man by divine grace. For once Constantine had recon- 
quered the Empire after the revolt of his brother-in-law Artavasdos, he 
beat Anastasios and paraded him backwards in the hippodrome with 
other enemies of the Emperor. Naked and seated on an ass, he was 
brought in through the gate the chariots used, because with the Em- 

193. That is, the patriarchal throne. 

194. A synkellos was originally a monk who lived with his bishop (liter- 
ally, one who shared a cell), whose function was to be a witness to the purity 
of his life. In the Orthodox Church, synkelloi became patriarchal advisers with 
considerable powers, and had seats and votes of their own at church councils. 



peror’s enemies he had renounced Constantine and crowned Artavas- 
dos, as will be revealed in its own place. 

In Byzantium the champion of pious doctrines — the holy and mar- 
velous priest Germanos — was in his prime, fighting against the wild 
beast who bore the name Leo and against his henchmen. In the elder 
Rome Gregory, a holy and apostolic man who held the same throne 
as had the prince Peter, caused Rome, Italy, and all the west to secede 
from both political and ecclesiastical obedience to Leo and his Empire. 
In Syrian Damascus the priest and monk John Chrysorrhoas (the son 
of Mansur), an excellent teacher, shone in his life and his words. 195 

But since Germanos was under his control, Leo expelled him from 
his throne. Through letters Gregory openly accused Leo of what was 
known to many, and John subjected the impious man to anathemas. 
On January 7 of the thirteenth indiction — a Saturday — the impious 
409 Leo convened a silentium 196 against the holy and revered icons at the 
tribunal of the nineteen Akkubita. He even summoned the holy patri- 
arch Germanos, thinking he could persuade him to subscribe to oppos- 
ing the holy icons. But in no way would the noble servant of Christ 
obey Leo’s abominable, wicked doctrine. He rightly taught the true 
doctrine, but bade farewell to his position as chief prelate. He gave up 
his surplice 197 and, after many instructive words, said, “If I am Jonah, 
cast me into the sea. For, Emperor, I cannot make innovations in the 
faith without an ecumenical conference.” He went off to the Platanaion 
and went into seclusion at his ancestral home, having been patriarch 
for fourteen years, five months, and seven days. 

On the twenty-second of this same January they chose Anastasios, 
who was misnamed the pupil and synkellos of the blessed Germanos, 
since he agreed with Leo’s impiety. He was appointed false bishop of 
Constantinople because of his all-embracing hunger for power. As I 
said before, Gregory the pope of Rome refused to accept Anastasios 
and his libelli 198 and, through letters, condemned Leo for his impiety; 
he also split olf Rome and all Italy from his rule. 

The tyrant was furious, and stepped up his persecution of the holy 
icons. Many clerics, monks, and pious laymen were endangered be- 
cause of their true concept of the faith and were crowned with the 
crown of martyrdom. 

195. This is the famous theologian John of Damascus, who, being safe 
under the rule of the Arabs, could fulminate as he wished against iconoclasm 
without fearing imperial reprisals. “Chrysorrhoas” means “flowing with 

196. An assembly of leading secular and church officials. 

197. The garment which was a symbol of his office. 

198. The “pamphlets” in which his statement of faith was contained. 



ANNUS MUNDI 6222 (SEPTEMBER 1, 730— AUGUST 31, 731) 

Bishop of Constantinople Anastasios: 24 years 

14. 7. 6. 1. 25. 

In this year Maslama attacked Romania; when he reached Kap- 
padokia, he took the fortress of Kharsianon by treachery. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6223 (SEPTEMBER 1, 731— AUGUST 31, 732) 

15. 8. 7. 2. 26. 

In this year Maslama attacked the land of the Turks but grew 
fearful and withdrew after he had reached the Caspian Gates. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6224 (SEPTEMBER 1, 732— AUGUST 31, 733) 

16. 9. 8. 3. 27. 

In this year the Emperor betrothed the daughter of the Khagan 
410 (the ruler of the Skythians 199 ) to his son Constantine. Converting her 
to Christianity, he renamed her Irene. She became eminent for her 
piety and, after closely examining the holy scriptures, condemned 
their impiety. 

Hisham’s son Muawiyah attacked Romania; he moved all the way 
up to Paphlagonia and returned with many prisoners. 

The Emperor was furious at the pope and at the defection of Italy. 
He armed a great expedition and, appointing as its commander Manes 
the general of the Kibyrhaiot theme, sent him against the pope and the 
Italians. But the irreverent fellow was put to shame when the expedi- 
tion reached the Adriatic Sea. Thereupon Leo the enemy of God raged 
all the more, for he was under the control of his Arabic heart. He levied 
a third more tribute on the people of Sicily and Calabria. 200 He also 
ordered the patrimony of the saints and princes of the apostles 201 (who 
are honored in the elder Rome), which from ancient times had paid 
three and a half talents of gold to the churches, to pay them to the 
public account. He even ordered male babies observed and registered, 
as Pharaoh once had those of the Hebrews: not even his teachers the 
Arabs themselves did this to the Christians in the east. 

199. That is, the Khazars. Byzantine historical writers often used this 
archaic name to describe the nomads of the northern steppes; on occasion its 
vagueness can cause modern writers considerable confusion. It seems a rea- 
sonable conclusion, however, that the Byzantine authors and their readers 
generally knew about whom they were talking. 

200. These areas were still under the control of the Byzantine Empire, 
despite the pope’s detachment of the rest of Byzantine Italy from imperial rule. 

201. That is, the patrimony of Peter. 



ANNUS MUNDI 6225 (SEPTEMBER 1, 733— AUGUST 31, 734) 

17. 10. 9. 4. 28. 

In this year there was a plague in Syria, and many died. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6226 (SEPTEMBER 1, 734— AUGUST 31, 735) 

Bishop of Rome Zachariah: 21 years 202 

18. 11. 1. 5. 29. 

In this year Theodore son of Mansur was exiled to the desert. 
There was a sign in the sky which shone like a burning brand. 
Muawiyah devastated Asia. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6227 (SEPTEMBER 1, 735— AUGUST 31, 736) 

19. 12. 2. 6. 30. 

In this year Hisham’s son Suleiman attacked the land of the Ar- 
menians, but accomplished nothing. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6228 (SEPTEMBER 1, 736— AUGUST 1, 737) 

20. 13. 3. 7. 

In this year Muawiyah attacked Romania. On his way back he fell 
off his horse and gave up the ghost a few days later. 

41 1 ANNUS MUNDI 6229 (SEPTEMBER 1, 737— AUGUST 31, 738) 

21. 14. 4. 8. 

In this year Hisham’s son Suleiman took many prisoners from 
Asia. Among them he captured a Paphlagonian who said he was 
Tiberius son of Justinian. In order to honor his own son and terrify the 
Emperors, 203 Hisham sent this fellow to Jerusalem with the appropri- 
ate imperial honors, soldiers, banners, and scepters. Hisham ordered 
him to tour all Syria so everyone could see and marvel at him. 

202. Zachariah was pope from 741 to 752; Theophanes’ chronology is 
still very confused. 

203. Leo and his son Constantine. 


ANNUS MUNDI 6230 (SEPTEMBER 1, 738— AUGUST 31, 739) 

22. 15. 5. 9. 

In this year Hisham’s son Suleiman attacked Romania. He 
stormed the fortress known as Sideroun and captured Eustathios the 
son of the patrician Marianos. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6231 (SEPTEMBER 1, 739— AUGUST 31, 740) 

23. 16. 6. 10. 

In this year — the eighth indiction — in May Suleiman attacked Ro- 
mania with 90,000 men. There were four generals; of them, Ghamr led 
10,000 light-armed troops to surprise the land of Asia; behind him, 
Malik and Battal had 20,000 cavalry near Akro'inos; after them came 
Suleiman with 60,000 men near Kappadokian Tyana. While the Arabs 
in Asia and Kappadokia withdrew unharmed after destroying a large 
number of men, women, and beasts of burden, Malik’s and Battal’s 
forces were completely subdued and defeated by Leo and Constantine. 
Most of them, including their two commanders, were lost while under 
arms. But 6,800 of their warriors resisted, fled to Synnada, and sur- 
vived. They joined Suleiman in his return to Syria. In the same year 
many of them fell in Africa with their commander, whose name was 

412 ANNUS MUNDI 6232 (SEPTEMBER 1, 740— AUGUST 31, 741) 

24. 17. 7. 11. 

In this year (the twenty-fourth of the reign of the tyrant and great 
lawbreaker Leo the Syrian) the markets in Damascus were burned by 
the Hierakitai, who were hanged. 

Also, in September there was a flood at Edessa. 

In the same year — the ninth indiction — at the eighth hour of 
Wednesday, October 26, there was a strong and terrifying earthquake 
at Constantinople. Many churches and monasteries were toppled, and 
many people died. The statue of Constantine the Great on the Attalid 
gate fell, as did the gate itself. So did Arkadios’ monument on the 
column of Xerolophos, the statue of Theodosios the Great on the 
Golden Gate, 204 the city’s land walls, towns and villages in Thrace, and 

204. Arkadios was Emperor in the East from 395 to 408; his father 
Theodosios I (“the Great”) ruled the East from 379 to 395, and was the last 
man briefly to rule both the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire. 
Xerolophos (“dry hill”) was in southwest Constantinople; Arkadios’ statue and 
column stood in the center of a forum also named for him. 




in Bithynia Nikomedeia, Prainetos, and Nikaia (in Nikaia one church 
was preserved). In some places the sea withdrew from its own bounda- 
ries. Aftershocks continued for twelve months. 

Seeing the fallen walls of the city, Leo discussed this with the 
people: “You do not have the means to rebuild the walls, but we will 
command our government officials to levy a miliaresion extra per 
solidus. 205 The state will take this money and rebuild the walls.” From 
that time on it was customary to give the officials' two keratia. 206 

According to the Romans, this year was 6,248 years after the 
creation of the world (from the time of Adam) ; according to the Egyp- 
tians (that is, the Alexandrians), 6,232. It was 1,063 years after Philip 
of Macedon. 207 Leo had ruled from March 25 of the fifteenth indiction 
to June 18 of the ninth indiction, and was Emperor for twenty-four 
years, two months, and twenty-five days. God suffered his son and 
successor (in his impiety and in his imperium) to rule from the same 
June 18 of the ninth indiction to September 14 of the fourteenth 
413 indiction: thirty-four years, three months, and two days. Thus, as we 
said before, on June 18 of the ninth indiction Leo died a physical death 
to match his spiritual death, and his son Constantine became Emperor. 

Such evils as befell the Christians during the reign of the impious 
Leo were made clear in the preceding chapters. They concerned the 
orthodox faith, and also (in political administration) Leo’s love of 
money and his plan for base profit in Sicily, Calabria, and Crete. There 
was rebellion in Italy because of his wicked beliefs, and there were 
earthquakes, famines, plagues, and popular revolts. I must keep silent 
over part of this, but it is important to set forth the illegal actions of 
his impious and totally miserable son one after the other, as they were 
still more unholy and hateful to God. I do this in the spirit of one who 
loves truth — since omniscient God is supervising this — and so it may 
be a clear aid for men in the future and for those wretched, arrogant 
manikins who are now stumbling into the loathsome and evil doctrine 
of this supreme lawbreaker. 208 

Constantine’s actions were impiously carried out from the tenth 
indiction — the first year of his reign — to the fourteenth indiction — the 
year of his end. For he was a totally destructive bloodsucking wild beast 

205. Kara 6 Xokotlvlv, not Kara vo/xicrjaa; solidus is an older term for 

206. One-twelfth of a nomisma. 

207. Philip of Macedon ruled that land 359-336 b.c. Actually, annus 
mundi 6232 begins 1,076 years after his death. However, it begins 1,063 years 
after the death of his son and successor, Alexander the Great (336-323 b.c.). 

208. While Theophanes was writing, Leo V (813-820) was returning to 
iconoclasm, a return which would result in the monk’s exile. For the signifi- 
cance of this passage, see the discussion in the introduction, pp. x-xi. 


who used his power tyranically and illegally. First, he sided against our 
God and Savior Jesus Christ, His altogether immaculate Mother, and 
all the saints. He was deceived by wizardry, licentiousness, blood sac- 
rifices of horses, dung, and urine. Effeminacy and summoning demons 
pleased him, and ever since he was a boy he had partaken of absolutely 
every sort of soul-destroying practice. What can I say? When, with his 
wickedness, the altogether abominable one took over his father’s rule, 
from the beginning he craved such evil, and openly threw his flame 
into the air. 

Christians felt no little fear when they saw this, so from the begin- 
ning everyone immediately began to hate him because of his audacity. 
But they were well-inclined to Artavasdos the curopalates and count 
414 of the Opsikion (who was married to Constantine’s sister Anna), and 
wanted to give him the imperial power because he was orthodox. 

In the same year the Arabs’ ruler Hisham killed the Christian 
prisoners in every city under his control. Among them was Eustathios, 
the blessed son of the famous count Marianos. He was tortured for a 
long time but would not renounce his true faith, and was shown to be 
a true martyr at Harran, a notable Mesopotamian city. There his pre- 
cious, holy remains cure all sorts of ills, doing so by divine grace. 
Through martyrdom and bloodshed many others also died in Christ. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6233 (SEPTEMBER 1, 741— AUGUST 31, 742) 
a.d. 733 

Roman Emperor Constantine: 35 years: year 1 
Arab ruler Hisham: 19 years: year 18 
Bishop of Rome Zachariah: 21 years: year 8 
Bishop of Constantinople Anastasios: 24 years: year 12 

In this year Constantine, the persecutor of the laws handed down 
from the fathers, became Emperor by divine judgment because of the 
multitude of our sins. On June 27 of the previous tenth indiction he 
had gone out to the Opsikian theme against the Arabs, and was at 

Artavasdos was in Dorylaion with the army of the Opsikion, and 
they watched each other suspiciously. Constantine sent Artavasdos a 
message asking him to send his sons to the Emperor on the grounds 
that he wanted to see them because they were his nephews, but his aim 
was to seize and imprison them. Artavasdos recognized his treachery 
and lost hope for himself, as he knew Constantine’s boundless wicked- 
ness. He harangued his army, brought them over, and with his whole 
host attacked Constantine. 

He killed with a sword-stroke the Saracen-minded patrician Beser, 




who had advanced to meet him. But Constantine found himself beside 
a horse whose master had been laid low, mounted it, and fled to 
Amorion. He went to the regiments of the Anatolic theme (at that time 
commanded by Lankinos), which saved him. He promised them a great 
deal, and immediately sent a message to Sisinniakos (who was at that 
time general of the Thrakesian theme), whose men he persuaded to 
415 ally with him. After that there were terrible battles between the sup- 
porters of the two men, as each of them had been acclaimed Emperor. 

By means of the silentarius 209 Athanasios, Artavasdos sent a mes- 
sage about what had happened to the patrician and magistros Theo- 
phanes, who was in the city as his legate. Since he was devoted to 
Artavasdos, he assembled the people by the upper gates of the great 
church. Through Athanasios and his letters, Artavasdos convinced 
everyone that he had been proclaimed Emperor by the thematic troops 
because the Emperor had died. 

Then all the people, including Anastasios (misnamed patriarch), 
anathematized and renounced Constantine, since he was an accursed 
wretch and God’s enemy. They politely accepted his slaughter if it 
would wash them clean of his great evil, and acclaimed Artavasdos 
Emperor, since he was orthodox and fought for the holy doctrines. 

At once Monotes sent a message to his son Nikephoros (who was 
in Thrace as general at that time) to muster his army there to protect 
the city. He shut the walls’ gates, put guards on them, and overpow- 
ered Constantine’s friends, whom he beat, harassed, and jailed. 

After Artavasdos and the army of the theme of the Opsikion en- 
tered the city, Constantine overran Chrysopolis with two thematic 
armies (I mean, the Thrakesians and Anatolies). But since he was 
not able to accomplish anything further, he withdrew to winter in 

When the Arabs learned of the civil war between these men they 
took many prisoners in Romania; Suleiman was their general. 

Artavasdos replaced the holy icons all through the city. Anastasios 
(misnamed patriarch) took hold of the precious and lifegiving Cross 
and swore to the people: “By Him Who was nailed on this, the Em- 
peror Constantine said to me, ‘One should not conclude it was the Son 
of God (Who is called Christ) Whom Mary bore, but only a mere man. 
For Mary gave birth to Him like my mother Maria gave birth to 
me.’ ” 210 When the people heard this they rejected Constantine. 

209. Silentarii were doorkeepers at imperial audiences and at silentia 
(see above, note 196). 

210. This theological position has strong Nestorian overtones (see 
above, notes 55 and 127). 


ANNUS MUNDI 6234 (SEPTEMBER 1, 742— AUGUST 31, 743) 

Bishop of Antioch Stephen: 2 years 
2. 19. 9. 13. 1. 

416 In this year the Arabs’ ruler Hisham died. He had left the holy 
church of Antioch a widow for forty years, as the Arabs kept it from 
having a patriarch. Hisham had had as a friend a Syrian monk named 
Stephen: Stephen was rather uncultured, but pious. Hisham urged the 
eastern Christians to choose Stephen if they wished to be allowed to 
have a patriarch. They thought the opportunity God-sent, chose him 
for the throne of the city of God, 211 and have not been hindered up 
to the present. 

In this year Hisham’s son Walid took power over the Arabs. To 
him Constantine sent the spatharios Andrew and Artavasdos the logo- 
thete 212 Gregory; both of them were seeking terms for an alliance. 

There was a severe drought and an earthquake in the area where 
the mountains in the desert of Saba meet each other, and villages were 
gulped down into the ground. 

In the same year Kosmas the patriarch of Alexandria and his city 
became orthodox, emerging from the wicked doctrines of the 
monothelites, which had held sway since the time of Cyrus, Alex- 
andria’s bishop during the reign of Herakleios. 

A host of Arabs under Ghamr attacked Romania, took many pris- 
oners, and withdrew. 

In June a sign appeared in the northern sky. 

Walid ordered the tongue of the holy metropolitan of Damascus, 
Peter, cut out, because he openly condemned the impiety of the Arabs 
and Manichaeans. 213 Then he exiled Peter to Arabia Felix, where he 
died: a martyr for Christ. Those who tell of this say it is fully assured 
because they heard it themselves. 

Peter’s emulator and namesake, Peter of Maiouma, was at this 
time shown to be a voluntary martyr for Christ. When he became ill 
he summoned some important Arabs, who were his intimates because 

211. Another name for Antioch is Theopolis — the city of God. 

212. Originally, logothetes were accountants. As Byzantine bureaucracy 
evolved and many late-Roman offices disappeared during the crises of the 
seventh and eighth centuries, logothetes began to fill their functions, and the 
title came to mean “minister.” 

213. Manichaeism was a dualistic religion combining elements of Zoro- 
astrianism, Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism founded by the Persian 
prophet Mani in the third century a.d. It associated the material world with the 
evil power in the universe; thus, observant Manichaeans lived lives of great 
asceticism. Manichaeism was rarely able to find a state to support it; its follow- 
ers were persecuted minorities wherever they lived. 






he was chartularius in charge of the payment of public taxes. He told 
them, “You should gain a reward from God for visiting me, even if you 

417 friends are outside the faith. I want you to be my eyewitnesses that this 
is the situation: everyone who does not believe in the Father, the Son, 
and the Holy Spirit, in consubstantiality, and in the Trinity in Unity 
which rules life, has maimed his soul and deserves eternal punishment. 

f Even your false prophet Muhammad is such a person, and a forerunner 
■ of the Antichrist. If you are convinced by my testimony about the 
heaven and earth, abandon his mythology today, lest you be punished 
with him: for I feel goodwill toward you.” When they heard his theo- 
logical disquisition on these and other matters they were struck with 
amazement and fury, but thought it good to be patient, since they 
believed he was delirious from his illness. After he recovered from it, 
though, he began to cry out even more arrogantly, “Anathema to 
Muhammad, to his false writings, and to everyone who believes in 
him.” Then he was shown to be a martyr, and submitted to punishment 
from the sword. 

Our holy father John has honored him with eulogies. John is 
well-called “Chrysorrhoas” because the brilliant grace of the Spirit 
gleams golden in him, both in his words and in his life. The impious 
Emperor Constantine hurled annual anathemas at him because of his 
surpassing orthodoxy. 

In place ofjohn’s patronym “Mansur” (which means, “he who has 
been washed clean”), Constantine, in his Jewish arrogance, renamed 
the new teacher of the church “Manzeros.” 214 

In the same year Walid resettled the Cypriots in Syria. 

Artavasdos appointed his son Niketas his chief general, then sent 
him to the Armeniac theme. Through Anastasios the patriarch, he also 
crowned his son Nikephoros. 

In May of the same year Artavasdos went to Asia; when he got 
there he plundered it and levied troops. Constantine moved against 
Artavasdos as soon as he learned of this. He caught up with Artavasdos 
near Sardis, engaged him in battle, routed him, and chased him all the 
way to Kyzikos. When he got to Kyzikos, Artavasdos boarded a warship 
and got safely to the city. 

418 In August of the same eleventh indiction his son Niketas the chief 
general attacked Constantine but was routed and fled to Modrine. This 
battle killed the patrician Teridates the Armenian (a noble soldier who 
was Artavasdos’ cousin) and other officers. There were no small losses 
on either side: the Armenians and Armeniacs fought against the men 
fighting for Constantine: Thrakesians and Anatolies. At this time the 
devil, that evil prince, stirred up madness and mutual slaughter against 

214. A Greek form of the Hebrew word mamier — “bastard.” 


the Christians, so that children were shamelessly made to murder their 
parents and brothers their brothers. The factions mercilessly burned 
each other’s property and homes. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6235 (SEPTEMBER 1, 743— AUGUST 31, 744) 

Arab ruler Walid: 1 year 

3 . 1 . 10 . 2 . 

In this year a sign appeared in the north, and dust fell in various 
places. There was also an earthquake at the Caspian Gates. 

On Thursday, April 16, Walid was killed by the Arabs after he had 
ruled for one year. Yezid Leipsos seized the rule. He dispersed a large 
sum of money and conquered Damascus, receiving from the Arabs in 
Damascus, Persia, and Egypt recognition as their ruler. As soon as he 
heard of this, Muhammad’s son Marwan, who was administering Ar- 
menia, overran Mesopotamia. He seemed to be fighting for Walid’s 
sons and against Yezid. After five months Yezid died, leaving behind 
his brother Ibrahim as his successor in Damascus. At his command 
Marwan, who commanded the forces in Mesopotamia, went to Edessa, 
and from there to a camp called Garis in the vicinity of Damascus and 
Antilebanon. He engaged Suleiman there by the river Lita (that is, the 
Kakos), routed him, and killed 20,000 men. Only Suleiman and a few 
others got away safe to Damascus. Once Suleiman was in Damascus, 
419 he killed the sons of Walid, for whom Marwan had seemed to be 
fighting. He left Damascus after appropriating an adequate amount of 
money. Then Marwan also overran Damascus, and killed many of its 
prominent citizens and those who had aided in the murder of Walid 
and his sons; others he mutilated. He transferred all its money and 
treasures to Harran, a Mesopotamian city. 

In September of the twelfth indiction Constantine came down 
near Chalcedon and crossed over into Thrace. Sisinnios the general of 
the Thrakesian theme crossed by way of Abydos and laid siege to 
Constantinople’s land walls. Constantine went from the Charsianesian 
gate to the Golden Gate, showing himself to the masses, then withdrew 
once more to camp at St. Mamas. 

The inhabitants of the city began to run out of supplies. They sent 
out the asekretes Athanasios and his aide Artavasdos to get them by 
ship. But the Kibyrhaiots’ fleet came on them outside Abydos, over- 
came them, and brought them to the Emperor. He gave the food to 
his troops and forthwith blinded Athanasios and Artavasdos. After this 

215. This is an error for the fourteenth year of patriarch Anastasios of 




Artavasdos 216 decided to open the gates of the land wall and join battle 
with Constantine. In the battle Artavasdos’ forces were crushingly 
defeated and many died, Monotes among them. Artavasdos prepared 
two-storied ships which bore Greek fire and sent them to St. Mamas 
against the Kibyrhaiots’ fleet. But while they were approaching, the 
Kibyrhaiots’ ships sallied forth and drove them away. 

Famine grew severe in the city, so that a modius 217 of barley sold 
for twelve nomismata, a modius of pulse for nineteen, and even one 
of millet or lupine for eight. Five pounds of olives sold for a nomisma, 
and a xestes 218 of wine for half a nomisma. Since the people were 
420 dying, Artavasdos had to let them leave the city. Some, though, he 
stopped after looking at their faces. Because of this, some people 
covered their faces and put on women’s clothing; others wore monas- 
tic garb and hairshirts. In this way they were able to escape and leave. 

Niketas the chief general gathered together his army, which had 
dispersed from Modrine, and advanced to Chrysopolis. When he 
wheeled round, the Emperor crossed to pursue him, and overtook him 
at Nikomedeia. He overwhelmed Niketas and his adjutant the bishop 
Marcellinus, whom he at once ordered cut down. He bound the chief 
general and showed him to his father Artavasdos on the wall. 

On the evening of November 2, Constantine suddenly moved his 
troops against the land wall in battle array and took the city. While it 
was still possible, Artavasdos and the patrician Baktangios boarded a 
naval vessel for the theme of the Opsikion. They went to the fortress 
of Pouzanes, in which they shut themselves up. The Emperor over- 
came them; he blinded Artavasdos and his two sons, but decapitated 
Baktangios in the Kynegion and hung his head on the Milion for three 

Thirty years later the malicious and heartless Emperor ordered 
Baktangios’ wife to go to the monastery of the Khora (for Baktangios 
was buried there), dig up his bones, carry them in her own cloak, and 
throw them into the memorial of Pelagios with the suicides. Oh, his 

Constantine also executed many other prominent men who had 
been on Artavasdos’ side. He blinded countless men, and cut off the 
hands or feet of others. He urged the foreign officers who had entered 
Constantinople with him to go into houses and rob the citizens of their 
property, and showed the city a countless number of other evils. 

He held horse-races: through the gate by which the horses entered 
he brought in Artavasdos and his sons and friends in bonds, along with ! 

216. This is the pretender once more, not his aide. 

217. A measure of volume, about two gallons. 

218. A measure of volume, a bit less than a pint. 


Anastasios (misnamed patriarch), who was seated backwards on an ass 
421 and then publicly beaten. Although Constantine brought him in and 
paraded him at the races, he seated him on the throne of holiness once 
more after terrifying and frightening him, since he was of the same 
party as the Emperor. 

By the just judgment of God, forty days later Constantine blinded 
his cousin Sisinnios, who was general of the Thrakesian theme and for 
long had struggled on his behalf. As it has been written, he who helps 
the impious man falls into his hands. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6236 (SEPTEMBER 1, 744— AUGUST 31, 745) 
A.D. 736 

Roman Emperor Constantine: 35 years: year 4 
Arab ruler Marwan: 6 years: year 1 
Bishop of Rome Zachariah: 21 years: year 11 
Bishop of Constantinople Anastasios: 24 years: year 15 
Bishop of Antioch Theophylaktos: 7 years: year 1 

In this year a great comet appeared in Syria. 

Thabit and Dahhaq of the Kharijites rebelled against Marwan, 
who overcame and killed them — and a force of 12,000 soldiers — in the 
mountains of Emesa. 

In the same year, at the request of the Christians of the east, 
Marwan allowed Theophylaktos, an Edessan priest, to be chosen patri- 
arch of Antioch, since Stephen had died. Theophylaktos was adorned 
with spiritual gifts, and especially with discretion. With universal let- 
ters, Marwan commanded that he should be honored by the Arabs. 

In Emesa, Marwan hanged one hundred twenty Kalbites 219 and 
killed Abbas in prison; Abbas had shed a great deal of Christian blood 
and had overrun and conquered many places. For this purpose Mar- 
wan sent him an Ethiopian, who went in to him and smothered him. 
The Ethiopian had bags filled with quicklime, which he put round 
Abbas’ head and nostrils. Marwan had devised this as a just punish- 
ment for a sorcerer. Many evils which have befallen Christians have 
sprung from wizards and summoners of demons. Also, Abbas had a 
share in Walid’s blood. 

219. There was a great deal of factional strife in the Arab dominions 
between the northern tribal grouping of the Kalb and the southern Arab 
members of the Qais grouping. Marwan was favored by the latter faction, and 
moved his capital from Damascus to Harran, where the Qais were dominant. 
This led to rebellion among the Kalbites in Syria, a revolt which Marwan 


1 1 1 



422 ANNUS MUNDI 6237 (SEPTEMBER 1, 745— AUGUST 31, 746) 

5 . 2 . 12 . 16 . 2 . 

In this year Suleiman once more assembled his army and attacked 
Marwan. He was defeated after throwing away 7,000 soldiers, but 
saved himself by fleeing to Palmyra, and from there to Persia. The 
Edessans, Heliopolitans, and Damascenes also rebelled, shutting their 
cities against Marwan. He sent an army under his son against Dahhaq, 
while he himself went to Emesa, which he took in four months. Dahhaq 
had come from Persia with a very large force. Marwan engaged him in 
Mesopotamia; after many of Dahhaq’s men had been killed, Marwan 
captured and executed him. 

At this time Constantine took Germanikeia and attacked Syria and 
Doulikhia; he found his opening because of the Arabs’ civil war. By 
treaty he expelled the Arabs from these cities without arms; he took 
some maternal relatives of his and resettled them in Byzantium, as he 
did with many Syrian monophysitic heretics. Most of these have lived 
in Thrace until the present day. In the fasion of Peter Knapheus, they 
keep on crucifying the Trinity in the trisagion. 220 

From August 10 to 15 it was misty, cloudy, and dark. 

Once he had conquered and taken Emesa, Marwan killed all of 
Hisham’s relatives and freedmen. He destroyed the walls of Heliopo- 
lis, Damascus, and Jerusalem, killed many important people, and muti- 
lated the people who remained in those cities. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6238 (SEPTEMBER 1, 746— AUGUST 31, 747) 

6 . 3 . 13 . 17 . 3 . 

In this year, at the fourth hour of January 18, there was a strong 
earthquake in Palestine, Jordan, and all Syria. Many tens of thousands 
— a countless number — died, and both churches and monasteries fell, 
especially in the desert round the holy city. 

In the same year there was a plague. It sprang from Sicily and 

423 Calabria and, spreading like fire, came to Monemvasia, Greece, and the 
islands which lie off it. It lasted the entire fourteenth indiction, scourg- 
ing the impious Constantine and restraining his fury against the holy 
churches and the revered icons even if, like Pharaoh of old, he re- 

220. Peter Knapheus (“the fuller”) was patriarch of Antioch from 476 
to 477 and again from 485 to 489; he was a monophysite. The trisagion 
(“thrice-holy”) is the hymn which begins, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God 
of Hosts.” In the late fifth century at Antioch the monophysites added, “Who 
was crucified for us,” to the hymn. This was seen by the orthodox as a heretical 
expression, as they denied that God could suffer on the cross, saying the 
Passion was of Christ’s humanity alone. 

mained uncorrected. The bubonic plague reached the imperial city in 
the fifteenth indiction. 221 

Suddenly and in some unseen fashion, a great number of small 
oily crosses began to appear on men’s cloaks, on the holy garb of the 
churches, and on their curtains. 222 People grew distressed and dis- 
mayed because they were perplexed by this kind of sign. The wrath of 
God mercilessly destroyed not only the folk in the city, but also those 
in all its suburbs. Many men had delusions and, as it seemed, while 
they were delirious they thought they were traveling with strange, 
harsh-faced men, and that those who met them hailed and talked with 
these people like friends. Those who indicate what these sick people 
said definitely state this. The sick folk also saw these people entering 
houses, killing some of their inhabitants, and wounding others with 
swords. Most of the things they said happened just as they had seen. 

In the spring of the first indiction the plague got even worse, and 
in summer it was burning everywhere at once, so that whole houses 
were shut up and there was no-one to help bury the corpses. Because 
the times were very critical, it was planned to put oblong wooden 
panniers on beasts of burden so as to carry away the dead; similarly, 
they were piled one atop the other on wagons. In this way all the 
cemeteries — both in the city and in the suburbs — were filled, as, in fact, 
were many dry cisterns and pools. Even many vineyards were dug up, 
and not only those, but the orchards within the old walls were also 
pressed into service to bury human bodies. Thus they barely met this 
424 need. Every household was harmed by the disaster, which took place 
because of the attack the rulers impiously made on the holy icons. 

An Agarene expedition presently came to Cyprus from Alexandria 
while a Roman fleet was there. The general of the Kibyrhaiot theme 
suddenly attacked the Arabs in the harbor and captured the mouth of 
the harbor. They say that, although there were 1,000 warships, only 
three got away. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6239 (SEPTEMBER 1, 747— AUGUST 31, 748) 

7. 4 . 14 . 18 . 4 . 

In this year Gregory was killed by the Kharijites. Also, as I said 
before, Marwan won his victory. 

221. Reading ie' (15) for e (5). 

222. A western chronicler, Paul the Deacon, records similar circum- 
stances surrounding an outbreak of plague in Liguria (northwestern Italy) 
around a.d. 566 in his eighth-century History of the Lombards (book II, chapter 

1 12 


ANNUS MUNDI 6240 (SEPTEMBER 1, 748— AUGUST 31, 749) 

8 . 5 . 15 . 19 . 5 . 

In this year the people of the interior of Persia — known as 
Khorasanians or Black-cloaks 223 — moved against Marwan and his en- 
tire dynasty, who had ruled after Muhammad the false prophet up until 
Marwan: that is, the line of him who was known as the son of 
Umayya. 224 Ever since the murder of Walid the Arabs had been 
fighting among themselves and giving each other no rest. The sons of 
Ekhim and Ali, who were relatives of the false prophet, were fugitives 
in hiding in lesser Arabia. When Ibrahim became their leader they met 
and sent one of their freedmen, Abu Muslim, to some of the leading 
men in Khorasan, asking the Khorasanians to ally with them against 

The Khorasanians met in the presence of a man named Q_ahtabah. 
They took counsel among themselves and incited the slaves to rise 
against their masters, killing many in one night. Once armed with the 
weapons, horses, and money of these men, they had a powerful posi- 
tion. However, they were divided into two tribes, Qaisites and Yemen- 
ites. Realizing this, Abu Muslim stirred up the Yemenites, who were 
425 more powerful, against the Qaisites. Once he had killed them, he went 
to Persia with Qahtabah. He attacked ibn-Sayyar and, after he won, 
took over all ibn-Sayyar’s men, perhaps as many as 100,000. Then Abu 
Muslim came upon ibn-Hubayrah, who was encamped with 200,000 
men, and drove him off. Abu Muslim overtook Marwan, who had 
300,000 men, at the Zab River, and in his attack killed a countless 
throng. As is written, 225 one man was seen pursuing a thousand, and 
two making ten thousand run. Marwan, seeing that his men were being 
overwhelmed in this way, went to Harran; after he crossed the river he 
cut the bridge, which was made of boats. He took up all his money and 
his retinue and fled to Egypt with 3,000 men who had been born in 
his household. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6241 (SEPTEMBER 1, 749— AUGUST 31, 750) 

9 . 6 . 16 . 20 . 6 . 

In this year Marwan was pursued, overtaken, and killed by the 
Black-cloaks after a severe battle. Their leader was Salim the son of Ali, 

223. This [Maurophoroi] is Theophanes’ conventional term for the Ab- 
basids and their backers. Black was the Abbasid color; they rose to power by 
gaining the backing of the followers of Ali’s murdered descendants, and wore 
black as a token of their mourning for the slain Alids. 

224. The Umayyad caliphate ruled the Arabs from 661 to 750. 

225. Once more, Deuteronomy 32:20. 


one of the fugitives who had sent out Abu Muslim. The rest of them 
assembled at Samaria in the village of Trakhonitis; by lot they assigned 
the rule to Abu-l-Abbas, after him to his brother Abd Allah, and after 
him to Isa ibn Musa. They arranged that Abd Allah (son of Ali and 
Salim’s brother) should be general of Syria, Salim should rule Egypt, 
and that Abu-l-Abbas’ brother Abd Allah should take from him a 
mandate to rule Mesopotamia. Abu-l-Abbas, who was also the ruler of 
them all, settled in Persia. He and his Persian allies transferred from 
Damascus the capital and all the treasure which had been carried off 
(and which Marwan had increased). 

426 Marwan’s surviving sons and relatives went from Egypt to Africa, 
and from there crossed the border between Libya and Europe at the 
Straits of Gibraltar. They have lived in European Spain until the pre- 
sent day. 226 There were some men previously settled there whom 
Muawiyah had shipped into exile; they were relatives of Marwan’s kin 
and their co-religionists. 

Conquering Marwan took six years. In the struggle the notable 
cities of Syria had their walls torn down (except for Antioch, since 
Marwan planned to keep it as a place of refuge). He destroyed count- 
less numbers of Arabs, because he paid close attention to military 
matters. He was a follower of the heresy of the Epicureans (that is, the 
Automatists), having adopted this impiety from the pagan Greeks who 
lived in Harran. 227 

On January 25 of the same third indiction a son was born to the 
Emperor Constantine of the daughter of the Khagan of Khazaria. 
Constantine named him Leo. 

In the same year there was an earthquake and a great and fearful 
collapse in Syria. Thanks to it, some of the cities were wholly razed, 
others partially, and others were shifted — walls, buildings, and all — 
from the mountains to the plains below, moving as much as six miles 
or even a bit more. Eyewitness observers say the land of Mesopotamia 
was torn asunder to a depth of fully two miles, and from this depth new 
earth, very white and sandy, was brought up. As they say, an immacu- 

226. The Umayyad emirate (caliphate after 929) of Spain endured until 


227. Epicurus (342-270 b.c.), despite the modern connotations attach- 
ing to his name and doctrines, did not advocate a life of sensuality. He urged 
the cultivation of man’s higher faculties, and advocated materialism and free- 
dom from fear. Ambrose Bierce’s definition of “epicure” is perhaps not out 
of place: “An opponent of Epicurus, an abstemious philosopher, who, holding 
that pleasure should be the chief aim of man, wasted no time in gratification 
of the senses.” Theophanes’ reference to “automatism” stems from the Epicu- 
rean belief in immutable natural laws. Harran was a center of surviving pagan- 
ism well into Islamic times. 

n 4 

1J 5 


late mule-like beast came up from the midst of this and, speaking in 
a human voice, foretold the attack of a people from the desert upon 
the Arabs, which indeed took place. 

At the festival of holy Pentecost in the following year — the fourth 
indiction — the impious Emperor Constantine crowned his son Leo 
Emperor by means of his partisan Anastasios, misnamed the patriarch. 

427 ANNUS MUNDI 6242 (SEPTEMBER 1, 750— AUGUST 31, 751) 

Arab ruler Muhammad: 5 years 

10. 1. 17. 21. 7. 

In this year the Khakideis rebelled against the Persian Black- 
cloaks, who killed 40,000 of them in the mountains of Emesa. The 
Persians did the same thing to the Qaisites in Arabia. When the em- 
balmed head of Marwan arrived, most of the rebellions stopped. 

In the same year Theophylaktos, the holy patriarch of Antioch, 
died on the twenty-ninth of Daisios. 228 

ANNUS MUNDI 6243 (SEPTEMBER 1, 751— AUGUST 31, 752) 

Bishop of Antioch Theodore: 6 years 

11. 2. 18. 22. 1. 

In this year the new conquerors killed most of the Christians who 
were “kinsmen” 229 of the previous rulers. They overpowered them by 
treachery at Palestinian Antipatris. 

In the same year Constantine took Theodosiopolis and Melitene, 
and took captives from the Armenians. 

Theodore son of Vicarius, who sprang from lesser Arabia, was 
chosen patriarch of Antioch. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6244 (SEPTEMBER 1, 752— AUGUST 31, 753) 

12. 3. 19. 23. 2. 

In this year the impious Constantine, buoyed up by his arrogance, 
devised many measures against the church and the orthodox faith. He 
convened a silentium for each measure and treacherously persuaded 
the people to follow his own will, preparing the way in advance for his 
plan for absolute impiety. 

228. June 29. 

229. Theophanes is using this word as an indication of favor or client 
status rather than as an implication of a true blood relationship. 


ANNUS MUNDI 6245 (SEPTEMBER 1, 753— AUGUST 31, 754) 

13. 4. 20. 24. 3. 

In this year Anastasios, who had ruled the throne of Constantino- 
ple in an unholy fashion, died after suffering piteously in body and soul 
from what is known as an intestinal obstruction.He vomited fecal mat- 
ter from his mouth, paying an appropriate price for his disregard of 
God and his teacher. 

In the same year the impious Constantine convened at the palace 
of Hiereia an illegal assembly to oppose the holy and revered icons. 
It had two hundred thirty-eight bishops, of whom the leaders were 
Theodosios bishop of Ephesos (the son of Apsimaros) and Pastillas of 
Perge. They promulgated doctrines which seemed good to them- 
selves, although no-one was present from the catholic thrones: I mean 
those of Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. Beginning on 
428 February 10, they continued until August 8 of the same seventh indic- 

Then the enemies of the Mother of God went to Blakhernai, where 
Constantine ascended the pulpit. He had a monk named Constantine, 
who was bishop of Syllaion. After praying, the Emperor said, “Many 
years to the ecumenical patriarch Constantine!” On the twenty-sev- 
enth of the same month the Emperor went to the Forum with his 
unholy president Constantine and the rest of his bishops. In the pres- 
ence of all the people they declared their evil-doctrined heresy, ana- 
thematizing the holy Germanos, George of Cyprus, and John Chry- 
sorrhoas of Damascus, who were holy men and venerable teachers. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6246 (SEPTEMBER 1, 754— AUGUST 31, 755) 

Bishop of Constantinople Constantine: 12 years 

14. 5. 21. 1. 4. 

In this year Muhammad — also known as Abu-l-Abbas — died after 
ruling for five years. His brother Abd Allah was in Mecca, the Arabs’ 
place of blasphemy. He wrote to Abu Muslim in Persia to guard the 
capital for him, as it had been allotted to him. Abu Muslim learned that 
Abd Allah (son of Ali and brother of Salim), the chief general of Syria, 
had seized the capital for himself and was on his way to conquer Persia. 
The Persians opposed Abd Allah, but the inhabitants of Syria were 
devoted to him and fought on his side. Abu Muslim raised his army and 
engaged Abd Allah near Nisibis, where he defeated him and killed 
many of his men. Most of them were Slavs 230 and Antiochenes. Only 

230. See above, under anni mundi 6185 and 6186. The Slavs who had 
deserted to the Arabs at that time were settled in Syria. 

1 16 



Abd Allah got away, and after a few days he asked for a safe conduct 
from the other Abd Allah (Muhammad’s brother), who had come to 
Persia in great haste from Mecca. This Abd Allah imprisoned the other 
429 in a tumbledown shack. Tie ordered its foundations dug out from 
under it, and thus secretly killed him. 

He prevented Abu Muslim from venting his wrath on the Syrian 
Arabs, although they had revolted against the Black-cloaks and cap- 
tured many places in Palestine and the seacoast, including Emesa. Abu 
Muslim had been planning to attack them with his soldiers; now he 
became angry at Abd Allah and went to the Persian interior with his 
host. Very much afraid of him, Abd Allah recalled him with persuasive 
speeches, summonses, and the loathsome symbols of their rule— I 
mean, the false prophet Muhammad’s staff and sandals. He asked 
Abu Muslim to come one day’s journey toward him so he could 
give Abu Muslim the same sort of thanks he would his father. Deceived, 
Abu Muslim approached him with 100,000 cavalrymen, but when he 
joined Abd Allah, Abd Allah killed him with his own hands. Abu 
Muslim’s mob was dispersed on the same day; they went off after 
having been given honors not easy to reckon. In this way Abd Allah 
solidified his rule. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6247 (SEPTEMBER 1, 755— AUGUST 31, 756) 

Arab ruler Abd Allah: 21 years 
Bishop of Rome Paul: 7 years 231 

15. 1. 1. 2. 5. 

In this year Niketas the bishop of Heliopolis was anathematized 
by the entire church. 

The Emperor Constantine resettled in Thrace the Syrians and 
Armenians he had brought from Theodosiopolis and Melitene; they 
have spread the Paulician heresy. 232 In the same way, he brought men 
and their families from the islands, Greece, and the southerly regions, 

231. Paul I, actually pope 757-767. 

232. The Paulicians were a dualist, semi-Christian sect originating in 
eastern Anatolia; their doctrines probably ultimately derived from Manichae- 
ism. Persecuted by Christians, they often took refuge with the Muslims, who 
used them as a buffer against the Byzantine Empire. In the ninth century their 
bandit-state grew to formidable power, and ravaged much of Byzantine Asia 
Minor before finally being extinguished in 872 by Basil I (867-886). Those 
Paulicians transplanted to the Balkans maintained their own doctrines; they 
survived into the late eleventh century to harass Alexios I (1081-1118), who 
persecuted them without mercy. These Balkan Paulicians also inspired the 
Bosnian Bogomils, and probably the Cathari of northern Italy and the Albi- 
gensians of southern France. 

1 18 


because there were few property-owners in the city. He had them settle 
there, thickly studding it with them. 

In the same year the Bulgars sought tribute because of the for- 
tresses which had been built. The Emperor dishonored their envoy, so 
they came out in force, advancing as far as the Long Walls and even 
making an attack on the imperial city. After they had worked much 
destruction and taken prisoners, they withdrew, unharmed, to their 
own country. 

430 ANNUS MUNDI 6248 (SEPTEMBER 1, 756— AUGUST 31, 757) 

16. 2. 2. 3. 

In this year there was an earthquake — no small one — in Palestine 
and Syria on March 9. 

Theodore the patriarch of Antioch was exiled. Because of the 
Arabs’ jealousy, they falsely accused him of revealing their affairs to the 
Emperor Constantine by letters. Salim put him in an out-of-the-way 
place; the land of the Moabites, which was also his native land. Salim 
also commanded that no new churches should be built, that the cross 
should not be displayed, and that Christians should not enter into 
religious discussions with Arabs. 

He attacked Romania with 80,000 men, but after he had entered 
Kappadokia he heard Constantine was arming against him. He grew 
afraid and withdrew without accomplishing anything. In his retreat he 
took only the few Armenians who had gone over to him. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6249 (SEPTEMBER 1, 757— AUGUST 31, 758) 

17. 3. 3. 4. 

In this year Abd Allah increased the taxes on the Christians, so 
that all monks, solitary monks, and pillar-sitters (who are pleasing to 
God) had to pay taxes. He also sealed the churches’ treasuries and 
brought in Hebrews to sell them; they were purchased by freedmen. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6250 (SEPTEMBER 1, 758— AUGUST 31, 759) 

18. 4. 4. 5. 

In this year Constantine captured the Macedonian Sklavinias and 
subjected the rest of them. 233 

In the same year some of the Persian Black-cloaks who were of the 

233. These are the small, tribal statelets of the Slavs who settled the 
Balkans after the collapse of the Avars (see above, note 105). 




magian religion 234 were overcome by a trick of the devil’s. They sold 
their property and, naked, climbed up onto walls and threw themselves 
off so that, as they thought, they could fly to heaven. But they had 
nothing worth mentioning for citizenship there; instead, they came 
back to earth, shattering their limbs. Through Salim, Abd Allah killed 
the leaders of the heresy in Beroia and Khalkis; they number sixteen. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6251 (SEPTEMBER 1, 759— AUGUST 31, 760) 

19 . 5 . 5 . 6 . 

In this year the Arabs, out of envy of the Christians, for a short 
time prevented them from being public scribes. However, they once 
more had to use the Christians for these matters because of their own 
inability to record the decisions. 

The Arabs attacked Romania and took many prisoners. At Melas 
they joined battle with Paul the general of the Armeniacs; they killed 
him and a host of soldiers, and brought back many heads and forty-two 
important men in bonds. 

The Emperor attacked Bulgaria; the Bulgars met him when he 
came to the pass at Bergaba. They killed many of his men, among 
whom were the patrician Leo (the general of the Thrakesian theme) 
and another Leo, the logothete of the drome. 235 They took the weap- 
ons of many of the men they killed. Thus the Emperor’s troops inglori- 
ously retreated. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6252 (SEPTEMBER 1, 760— AUGUST 31, 761) 

20 . 6 . 6 . 7 . 

In this year there was an error in the calculation of Easter. The 
orthodox in the east celebrated it on April 6, while the erring heretics 
did so on April 13. 

In the same year the head of the holy John the forerunner and 
Baptist was moved from the monastery of Spelaion to his famous 
church in Emesa. A way down to it was built, whereat the faithful have 
adored it until the present, and have honored it for both its physical 
and spiritual sweet smell. It gives out cures to all those who come to 
it with faith. 

In the same year a brilliant apparition appeared in the east for ten 
days, and again in the west for twenty-one. 

234. That is, Zoroastrians. Persia was by no means entirely converted to 
Islam by the middle of the eighth century. 

235. A post approximately equivalent to prime minister. 

In Lebanon, a Syrian named Theodore raised a rebellion against 
the Arabs in the villages outside Heliopolis. When he attacked them, 
many fell on both sides. Routed at last, he fled, and all the Lebanese 
who were with him were killed. There were also insurrections and wars 
in Africa, and there was a solar eclipse on Saturday, August 15 at the 
tenth hour. 236 

Some of the Black-cloaks at Dabekon rose up, saying the caliph’s 
son was God because it was he who fostered them: this was the doc- 
trine they promulgated. The Black-cloaks entered the house of their 
heresy and killed sixty of its leaders. Some also went to Basra, where 
they took many prisoners and a large sum of money. 

432 ANNUS MUNDI 6253 (SEPTEMBER 1, 761— AUGUST 31, 762) 

21 . 7 . 7 . 8 . 

In this year the Qaisites rebelled against the Black-cloaks because 
of a dispute over their wives. Some of the Black-doaks had been 
staying at a house in which dwelt three brothers, whose wives they 
wanted to drown. But the three brothers, thus incited, killed and 
buried the Black-cloaks and, once engaged, also killed the rest of their 
party. Selikhos sent out his armies, which cunningly got ahead of the 
rebels. He captured them and executed many; the three brothers were 

At the festival of Easter Selikhos entered the cathedral during the 
holy service. While the metropolitan was standing by him and reciting, 
“Your people and your church entreat you,” Selikhos took him away 
to prison. Another priest finished the holy service. This caused consid- 
erable fear, and if the metropolitan (the blessed Anastasios) had not 
appeased Selikhos with courtesy and humble speeches, a great evil 
would have taken place at that time. 

In the same year the persecutor Constantine whipped to death a 
monk at Blakhernai — Andrew, who was called Kalybites — in the hippo- 
drome at St. Mamas. Andrew had accused Constantine of impiety and 
of being a new Valens, and had called him a Julian. 237 Constantine 
ordered his body thrown in the river, but his sister stole it and buried 
it in the marketplace of Leukadios. 

236. This is actually the eclipse of August 15, 760: Newton, op. cit., 544. 

237. Julian (361-363) tried to restore paganism as the state religion of 
the Roman Empire; Valens (Emperor in the East, 364-378) was an Arian (see 
above, note 127) who persecuted the orthodox in his half of the Empire. 




ANNUS MUNDI 6254 (SEPTEMBER 1, 762— AUGUST 31, 763) 

Bishop of Rome Constantine: 5 years 238 

22. 8. 1. 9. 

In this year an apparition appeared in the east, and Fatima’s son 
was killed. 

The Bulgars rose up and murdered their rulers, whom they 
hanged on a rope. They elevated an evil-minded' man named Teletzes, 
who was thirty years old. Many Slavs fled and went over to the Em- 
peror, who settled them at Artana. On June 15 the Emperor went to 
433 Thrace. He also sent a fleet by way of the Black Sea; it had about eight 
hundred warships, each of which carried about twelve horses. When 
Teletzes heard of the movement against him, he made allies of 20,000 
men from neighboring tribes, and secured himself by putting them in 
his strongpoints. 

The Emperor advanced to camp at the fortress of Ankhialos. 
Teletzes and his host from the tribes appeared on Friday, June 30 of 
the first indiction. The two sides joined battle and cut each other up 
badly, the battle raging from the fifth hour until evening. Large num- 
bers of Bulgars were killed, others were overcome, and still others 
went over to the Emperor. He was exalted by the victory, and held a 
triumphal procession at the city because of it. He and his army entered 
Constantinople under arms; the people acclaimed him as he dragged 
along the overpowered Bulgars with wooden instruments of torture. 
He ordered the people to put them to death outside the Golden Gate. 

The Bulgars revolted against Teletzes and killed him and his 
officers, then elevated Sabinos, the brother-in-law of their old ruler. 
He immediately sent a message to the Emperor, seeking to make 
peace. But the Bulgars convened a council which firmly opposed him, 
saying, “Thanks to you, the Romans will enslave Bulgaria.” They 
rebelled, and Sabinos fled to the fortress of Mesembria and went over 
to the Emperor. The Bulgars raised another ruler for themselves, 
whose name was Paganos. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6255 (SEPTEMBER 1, 763— AUGUST 31, 764) 

23. 9. 2. 10. 

In this year two brothers from the desert and Basrathon rebelled 
against Abd Allah. He dispatched an army which killed them and 
80,000 of their men. 

238. This is either a badly misplaced reference to pope Constantine 
(708-715) or, more probably, a reference to the antipope Constantine (767- 
768). The pope’s regnal year now appears in front of that of the patriarch of 
Constantinople, while that of the patriarch of Antioch disappears. 



In the same year the Turks emerged from the Caspian Gates, 
killed many people in Armenia, took many prisoners, and withdrew. 

Kosmas (surnamed Komanites), a bishop of the Syrian Epiphaneia 
which is near Apamea, apostasized from the orthodox faith and came 
into accord with Constantine’s heretical opposition to the holy icons. 
He did this because the citizens had lodged an accusation against him 
with Theodore the patriarch of Antioch over his loss of church prop- 

434 erty which he was unable to produce. With common will and unity of 
purpose, Theodore the patriarch of Antioch, Theodore of Jerusalem, 
Kosmas of Alexandria, 239 and the bishops under them, each in his own 
city, anathematized him on the day of holy Pentecost after the reading 
of the holy gospel. 

In the same year it was bitterly cold after the beginning of Octo- 
ber, not only in our land, but even more so to the east, west, and north. 
Because of the cold, the north shore of the Black Sea froze to a depth 
of thirty cubits a hundred miles out. This was so from Ninkhia to the 
Danube River, including the Kouphis, Dniester, and Dnieper Rivers, 
the Nekropela, and the remaining promontories all the way to Me- 
sembria and Medeia. Since the ice and snow kept on falling, its depth 
increased another twenty cubits, so that the sea became dry land. It was 
traveled by wild men and tame beasts from Khazaria, Bulgaria, and the 
lands of other adjacent peoples. 

By divine command, during February of the same second indic- 
tion the ice divided into a great number of mountainous chunks. The 
force of the wind brought them down to Daphnousia and Hieron, so 
that they came through the Bosporos to the city and all the way to 
Propontis, Abydos, and the islands, filling every shore. We ourself 
were an eyewitness and, with thirty companions, went out onto one of 
them and played on it. The icebergs had many dead animals, both wild 
and domestic, on them. Anyone who wanted to could travel unhin- 
dered on dry land from Sophianai 240 to the city and from Chrysopolis 
to St. Mamas or Galata. One of these icebergs was dashed against the 
harbor of the acropolis, and shattered it. Another mammoth one 
smashed against the wall and badly shook it, so that the houses inside 

435 trembled along with it. It broke into three pieces, which girdled the city 

I from Magnaura to the Bosporos, and was taller than the walls. All the 

city’s men, women, and children could not stop staring at the icebergs, 

239. Although Theophanes knows the names of the patriarchs of Alex- 
andria and Jerusalem here, he does not have any information on the years in 
which they reigned. Theodore of Antioch’s exile, mentioned above in annus 
mundi 6248, was not permanent, for he remained patriarch of that city until 
773, despite Theophanes’ ignorance of this fact. 

240. Sophianai is on the Asiatic coast of the Bosporos, about three miles 
northeast of Chrysopolis, the town directly across from Constantinople. 




then went back home lamenting and in tears, at a loss as to what to say 
about this phenomenon. 

In March of the same year a great many stars were seen falling 
from the sky, so that everyone who saw them suspected this was the 
end of the age. There was also a bad drought, and even springs dried 

The Emperor brought in the patriarch and asked him, “But why 
would it harm us if we were to call the Mother of God ‘the mother of 

The patriarch embraced him, saying, “Have mercy, lord, that title 
should not have crossed your mind. Do you not see that Nestorios was 
declared infamous and was anathematized by the entire church?” 241 

In reply the Emperor said, “I asked because I wanted to learn; in 
any case, the decision is yours.” 

ANNUS MUNDI 6256 (SEPTEMBER 1, 764— AUGUST 31, 765) 
a.d. 756 

Roman Emperor Constantine: 35 years: year 24 

Arab ruler Abd Allah: 21 years: year 10 

Bishop of Rome Constantine: 5 years: year 3 

Bishop of Constantinople Constantine: 12 years: year 1 1 

In this year the Turks once more sallied forth into the area of the 
Caspian Gates and Iberia. They battled with the Arabs, and many on 
both sides lost their lives. 

By the following knavery Abd Allah took away the rule from Isa 
ibn Musa, to whom, as was said above, the third lot (to rule after Abd 
Allah) had fallen. He saw that Isa was suffering from a headache and 
dizziness, and persuaded him that he would cure him if Isa would 
implant in his nostrils a sneezing potion concocted by Abd Allah’s 
physician, whose name was Moses and who was a deacon of the church 
of Antioch. Moses had already been bribed into concocting a bitter, 
numbing drug. Abd Allah talked Isa into accepting the nasal plug; 
according to plan, he had been reassured by eating with Abd Allah. But 
436 when the passages in his head were filled, he was robbed of all his 
senses and their ruling energies, and lay down without a sound. Then 
Abd Allah summoned his race’s leaders and chiefs and said, “What do 
you think of this fellow who will rule you?” They unanimously rejected 
him and gave guarantees to Abd Allah’s son Muhammad (who was 
surnamed Mahdi), then brought the unconscious Isa to his home. 

241. Nestorian Christians denied that Mary could rightly be called “the 
Mother of God” (see above, note 127). 

When he recovered after three days, Abd Allah consoled him with false 
excuses, but requited the insult with a hundred talents of gold. 

In the same year Paganos, the lord of Bulgaria, sent a message to 
the Emperor, asking for an interview with him. Once he had received 
a safe conduct, Paganos and his boyars came down to the Emperor. 
The Emperor sat with Sabinos beside him, and reproached the Bul- 
gars’ disorder and their hatred of Sabinos. They made peace on terms 
which seemed good. 

But the Emperor secretly sent men into Bulgaria who seized 
Sklabounos the ruler of the Sebereis, a man who had worked many 
evils in Thrace. Christianos, an apostate from Christianity who headed 
the Skamaroi, was also captured. His hands and feet were cut off at the 
mole of St. Thomas. They brought in doctors who cut him open from 
his groin to his chest in order to ascertain the constituent parts of a 
man, and then he was burned. 

The Emperor suddenly sallied forth from the city. Because of the 
deceitful peace, he found the passes unguarded, and penetrated Bul- 
garia as far as Tzikas. After he set fire to the villas he found, he 
withdrew in flight; he had accomplished nothing noble. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6257 (SEPTEMBER 1, 765— AUGUST 31, 766) 
25. 11. 4. 12. 

In this year — the fourth indiction — on November 20 the impious 
and utterly unholy Emperor Constantine grew furiously angry at 
everyone who feared God. He ordered Stephen the new chief martyr, 
a solitary monk at the monastery of St. Auxentios in the mountains 
437 near Damatrys, to be dragged out. Stephen’s enemies (scholarii and 
members of the other imperial guards regiments), who shared Con- 
stantine’s ignorance, seized him, bound his feet with cord, and 
dragged him from the Praitorion to the monastery of Pelagios. There 
they tore his precious body limb from limb and threw it into the pit 
of the suicides. They did this because he had advised many people 
about monastic life and persuaded them to despise imperial dignities 
and money. This famous man had surpassed everyone by spending 
about sixty years in his cell, and was distinguished by his many virtues. 

When many officers and soldiers were accused of venerating 
icons, Constantine subjected them to various punishments and bitter 
tortures. From everyone under his rule he demanded a general pledge 
that they would not venerate an icon. After that, he made the mis- 
named patriarch Constantine ascend to the altar, hold up the precious 
and lifegiving Cross, and swear there was no one who gave icons 
veneration. At the same time the Emperor talked him into becoming 





a married man instead of a monk, and into partaking of the meats at 
the imperial table and appearing where they sang to the kithara. But 
soon justice gave the patriarch into the hands of the bloodstained one. 

On June 21 the Emperor moved against the Bulgars. He outfitted 
2,600 warships from all the themes and sent them to Akhelon. But after 
they had anchored by the shore, the north wind began to blow; almost 
all of them were beaten to bits, and a large army drowned. Because of 
this, the Emperor ordered the corpses gathered up in baskets and 
buried. On July 17 he ingloriously re-entered the city. 

On August 21 of the same fourth indiction he denounced and 
dishonored the monastic way of life, summoning each of the abbots to 
438 the hippodrome to take a wife in hand. Thus they all came to the 
hippodrome, where they were spat upon and cursed by all the people. 
Similarly, on the twenty-fifth of the same month nineteen important 
officers were brought to and paraded in the hippodrome on the 
grounds that they had wickedly plotted against the Emperor; in fact, 
they were not falsely accused. But Constantine was jealous of them 
because they were handsome, strong, and praised by everyone, and of 
some of them because of their piety and because they had gone to the 
solitary monk who was mentioned before, and had condemned his 

These were the leaders of the men he executed: the patrician 
Constantine was also logothete of the drome; he was surnamed 
Podopagouros. His brother Strategics was a spatharios and comman- 
der of the excubitores. Antiokhos had been logothete of the drome 
and was general of Sicily. David had been a spatharios under Beser, 
and was count of the theme of the Opsikion. Theophylaktos Ikoniates 
was a protospatharios and general of Thrace. Christopher was a spa- 
tharios under Himerios. The patrician Bardanes’ son Constantine was 
a spatharios and imperial protostrator. Theophylaktos was an officer 
under Marinakes . . . there were also others. 

At the hippodrome the Emperor mistreated them and made all the 
people spit on them and denounce them, then passed sentence on 
them. He beheaded the two brothers (I mean Constantine and Stra- 
tegics) in the Kynegion, although all the people deeply mourned them. 
The Emperor grew angry when he learned that. He beat the prefect 
Prokopios and replaced him on the grounds that he agreed with the 
above. The others the Emperor blinded and exiled. Full of madness, 
he annually sent men to their places of exile and ordered them given 
up to a hundred strokes with an ox-hide whip. 

On August SO of this same fourth indiction the evilly-named Em- 
peror became furious at the patriarch, who was of his party and was 
also his namesake. Constantine found some clergymen, monks, and 

laymen who were the patriarch’s initiates and friends and primed them 
to say, “We heard the patriarch speaking against the Emperor with 
Podopagouros.” The Emperor sent them to Constantine the patriarch 
439 at the patriarchal residence to accuse him; as part of their denial of 
him, the Emperor made them swear on the precious Cross, “We heard 
this abuse from the patriarch.” Then the Emperor sent them away and 
sealed up the patriarchal residence. He exiled the patriarch to Hiereia, 
and later to the Prince’s Island. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6258 (SEPTEMBER 1, 766— AUGUST 31, 767) 

Bishop of Constantinople Niketas: 14 years 
26. 12. 5. 1. 

In this year Abd Allah ibn Ali died when the tower in which he was 
imprisoned fell on him.^ 4 ^ While the other Abd Allah was caliph, he 
showed the Christians under his control many evils. He took the 
crosses from their churches, and prevented them from celebrating 
night-festivals and studying their letters. 

The Kharijites (which means “zealots”) among the Arabs raised 
an insurrection in the desert of Palmyra. But their actions were as 
manifestly evil toward God’s churches as toward the unbelievers. 

He who was ruling the Christians by the ineffable decision of God 
(just as the mad Ahab had ruled Israel) did far worse to the orthodox 
bishops, monks, laymen, rulers, and subjects under his control than 
did the madness of the Arabs. He totally renounced the intercession 
of the holy Virgin and Mother of God and that of all the saints, on the 
grounds that it gave no aid and was unscriptural. But all aid for us 
springs from this intercession. 

If Constantine heard of some notable person making an offering 
for the health of his body or soul and, as was usual, being honored by 
the pious, that person was threatened with death, confiscation, exile, 
or torture on the grounds of impiety. Relics containing a great deal of 
God’s grace were a treasure for their owners, but he took them away 
so they were never seen again. 

The unholy Emperor even did this to the precious remains of the 
martyr Euphemia, who was acclaimed by everyone. He threw them into 
the depths of the sea, coffin and all, as he could not bear to see 
Euphemia showering countless gifts on all the people and reflecting 
on his stupid opposition to the intercession of the saints. But, accord- 
ing to testimony, God preserved from him the bones of the virtuous; 

242. See above, under annus mundi 6246. 




440 He kept them safe and revealed them once more at the island of 
Lemnos. In a dream He commanded that what lay there should be 
lifted up and preserved. During the reign of the pious rulers Constan- 
tine [VI] and Irene (in the fourth indiction) the relics returned to their 
sacred precinct with suitable honors. Because he was an enemy of the 
church, Constantine [V] had appropriated this sacred precinct and 
turned it into an armory and a latrine. But Constantine [VI] and Irene 
cleansed and resanctified it to condemn his atheism and demonstrate 
their piety. We observed this amazing and noteworthy marvel in the 
company of our most pious rulers and the holy patriarch Tarasios 
twenty-two years after the death of the lawbreaker. We were taken 
along, although unworthy of such a great privilege. 

By the decision of the Emperor, Niketas, a Slavic eunuch, was 
illegally chosen patriarch of Constantinople on November 16 of the 
fifth indiction. 

There was a drought; no pure water fell from heaven, and it 
entirely abandoned the city. The reservoirs and the bath-houses were 
empty, and not only those, but also the spring-fed rivers which had 
formerly flowed at all times. When the Emperor saw this he began to 
restore the aqueduct of Valentinian, 243 which had been used until the 
time of Herakleios but had been torn down by the Avars. He collected 
skilled workmen from various places and brought them to Constan- 
tinople: from Asia and Pontos 1,000 homebuilders and two hundred 
plasterers, from Greece and the islands five hundred tile makers, and 
from Thrace 5,000 workmen and two hundred potters. He put over- 
seers and one patrician in charge of them. When the work was done 
in this way, water reached the city. 

In the same fifth indiction Constantine appointed generals of 
his party who were worthy workmen for his wickedness. They were 
Michael Melissenos in the theme of the Anatolies, Michael Lakhano- 
drakon in the theme of the Thrakesians, and Manes, who was named 
for evil, 244 in that of the Bukellarii. And who is competent to relate in 
full all their unholy deeds, which we have recorded here and there 
in their own places? For I do not plan to write one by one every action 

441 of theirs done to aid their ruler: the universe itself, I think, would not 
have room for the books that would be written, and it is more congen- 
ial to speak evangelically. 

243. This is actually the aqueduct constructed by Valens (see above, note 
237), who was Valendnian’s brother; Valentinian ruled in the west from 364 
to 375. The aqueduct was rebuilt during the reign ofjusdn II (565-578). The 
Avars presumably destroyed it in the siege of Constantinople in 626. 

244. This is the Greek form of the name Mani (see above, note 213), 
which to a devout Christian was synonymous with evil. Manes in Greek can also 
mean “madman.” 



ANNUS MUNDI 6259 (SEPTEMBER 1, 767— AUGUST 31, 768) 

Bishop of Rome Stephen: 3 years 
27. 13. 1. 2. 

In this year — the sixth indiction — on October 6, Constantine the 
misnamed patriarch was brought from the Prince’s Island. The tyrant 
Constantine beat him so badly he could not walk. He ordered him put 
on a litter and brought in to sit in front of the sanctuary at the great 
church. With him was an asekretes who lifted up a document on a sheet 
of paper, on which were written Constantine’s crimes. By imperial 
order all the people of the city assembled there to watch while the 
sheet was read in their hearing. After each chapter the asekretes hit 
Constantine in the face, while the patriarch Niketas sat watching on his 
throne. Once this was done, they brought Constantine up onto the 
pulpit and stood him upright. Niketas took the sheet of paper and sent 
down bishops who took away Constantine’s surplice and anathema- 
tized him. They renamed him Skotiopsis 245 and expelled him from the 
church backwards. 

On the following day there was a horse-race. They shaved his face 
and cut off his beard, the hair on his head, and his eyebrows, then, 
clothing him in silk and a sleeveless garment, mounted him backwards 
on an ass which bore a packsaddle. He held onto its tail. They brought 
him into the hippodrome by way of the gate through which the horses 
enter, while all the people and members of the factions cursed him and 
spat on him. His nephew Constantine, who led the ass, had his nose 

When the ex-patriarch went by the members of the factions, they 
came down to spit on him and throw dust on him. They brought him 
to the Emperor’s part of the hippodrome, threw him from his ass, and 
trampled on his neck. Then he was seated across from the members 
of the factions, where he listened to their mockery until the end of the 

442 On the fifteenth of the same month the Emperor sent patricians 

to him. They asked, “What do you have to say about our faith and the 
synod we convened?” 

As he was impious in his heart, he answered, “You believe cor- 
rectly, and the synod did well,” thinking he could again propitiate the 
Emperor by this. 

But they answered him at once. “We wanted to hear this from your 
own polluted mouth. Henceforward go into darkness and into anath- 
ema.” Thus he received his sentence, and was beheaded in the Kyne- 
gion. They tied his head by the ears 246 and hung it on the Milion for 

245. “Of darkened vision.” 

246. As he had been shaved bald, he had no hair left to tie to anything. 



three days as a spectacle for the people. They dragged his corpse, its 
feet tied together by a cord, through the Mese to the cemetery of 
Pelagios and threw it in with the suicides. Three days later they also 
brought his head there, and threw it in too. Oh, the senselessness, 
cruelty, and heartlessness of this savage wild beast! 247 

Was the wretch not ashamed by the holy font? For Constantine 
took two of his children into his arms from his third wife. 248 In every 
way he was beastlike and savage of manner. From that time on, he 
vented more spleen on the holy churches. He sent out men who 
brought the famous stylite Peter down from his rock. Because he 
would not abandon his doctrines, Constantine bound his feet and 
ordered him dragged through the Mese and thrown alive into the 
cemetery of Pelagios. He bound others in bags, fastened them with 
stones, and ordered them thrown into the sea. He devised all sorts of 
punishments for the pious: blindings, nose slittings, whippings. In the 
city Constantine did these deeds by himself and through the members 
of his party: I mean the patrician Antonius (who was domesticus of the 
scholae 249 ), the magistros Peter, and the palace guard regiments, 
which the Emperor had trained. In the outlying themes he acted 
through the aforementioned generals. 

He himself enjoyed kithara-playing and drinking-bouts, and edu- 
cated the men around him to foul language and dancing. If someone 
who had fallen ill or felt a pain let fall the prayer usual for Christians 
(“Mother of God, have mercy on me!”), or was seen making a night- 
prayer, or regularly attending church, or living piously, or not using 
443 oaths shamelessly, he was punished as an enemy of the Emperor and 
known as an unmentioned one. Constantine made the common prop- 
erty of his faction’s soldiers monasteries which had been established 
for the glory of God and as houses of refuge for those who needed 
salvation. Thus he gave the monastery of Dalmatos, which was the 
leader of the coenobitic houses 250 of Byzantium, to his soldiers so they 
could live in it. He also toppled from their foundations the monastery 
of Kallistratos, that of Dios, that of Maximinus, and other holy houses 
for monks and nuns. 

He condemned to death useful men, important in the army or in 

247. That is, Constantine V. 

248. Third marriages were frowned upon by canon law in the Orthodox 
Church, and fourth marriages even more so; these were reckoned a sin worse 
than fornication. Leo VI (886-912) precipitated a great scandal when, as he 
was three times a widower without male issue, he married his mistress Zoe 
Karbonopsina (“Black-eyed Zoe”) after she bore him a son, the future Con- 
stantine VII (913-959). 

249. Commander of a regiment of the imperial guards. 

250. Monastic establishments where the monks lived as an organized 


government, who undertook the monastic way of life — and especially 
those who had been near him and witnessed his licentiousness and 
unspeakable actions, as he suspected their statements would disgrace 
him. Because of this, as was said before, he killed Strategios the 
brother of Podopagouros when he learned Strategios, who did not 
approve of his illegal acts of unnatural lust, had told them to the 
blessed Stephen (the solitary monk at the church of St. Auxentios) and 
had received the medicine of salvation. Thus Constantine, who had 
taken the comely Strategios as partner (for because of his licentious- 
ness he loved to have such people by him), accused him of plotting 
with the monk. 

At this time Constantine made the city prosper, for he was a new 
Midas who heaped up treasures of gold by stripping the farmers bare. 
Because of tax demands, men were compelled to sell God’s abundance 

In the same year the misnamed patriarch Niketas scraped off the 
mosiac-work icons of the small consistory in the patriarchal residence, 
and took down those in the building’s great consistory, which were 
painted on wood. He painted over the faces of the rest of the icons, 
and did the same thing in the Abramaion. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6260 (SEPTEMBER 1, 768— AUGUST 31, 769) 

28 . 14 . 2 . 3 . 

In this year the Emperor, that trigamist, crowned his third wife 
Eudokia Augusta in the tribunal of the nineteen Akkubita. This was on 
Saturday, April 1 of the seventh indiction. On the next day, which was 
April 2, the Sunday of holy Easter, he appointed his two sons by her, 
444 Christopher and Nikephoros, Caesars in the same tribunal. The patri- 
arch gave the prayers, then the Emperor put their robes and Caesars’ 
crowns on them. In the same way he made Niketas, their last brother, 
nobilissimus, 251 and put a gold robe and crown on him. Then the 
Emperors went all the way to the great church, distributing consular 
largess: newly minted third-nomisma pieces, half-nomisma pieces, and 

ANNUS MUNDI 6261 (SEPTEMBER 1, 769— AUGUST 31, 770) 

29 . 15 . 3 . 4 . 

In this year there was a reconciliation in Syria: of man toward man, 
woman toward woman, and likewise child toward child. Abd Allah 

251. A title of high honor between Caesar and curopalates in rank, and 
restricted to the imperial family. 


13 1 



ordered all his subjects to shave their beards and wear cubit-and-a-half 
turbans. He besieged Kamakhon all summer long but withdrew in 
disgrace without having accomplished anything. 

On November 1 of the eighth indiction Irene came from Athens. 
She went from Hiereia to the imperial city with a large number of 
different kinds of warships equipped with silk mantlings. The city’s 
leading men and their wives met and escorted her. On November 3 the 
patriarch entered the palace to betroth the Emperor Leo to Irene in 
the church of Pharos. On December 17 the Empress Irene was 
crowned in the triklinos of the Augusteion. She went to the oratory of 
St. Stephen in Daphne and received the crowns of marriage with Con- 
stantine’s son the Emperor Leo. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6262 (SEPTEMBER 1, 770— AUGUST 31, 771) 

Bishop of Rome Hadrian : 27 years 

30. 16. 1. 5. 

In this year ibn Wakkas attacked Romania, taking many prisoners. 
445 The Romans invaded and plundered fourth Armenia. Palestinian Ger- 
manikeia was rebuilt. 

In the same year Lakhanodrakon, imitating his teacher, collected 
at Ephesos every monk and nun under the jurisdiction of the Thrake- 
sian theme. Bringing them to the plain known as Tzoukanisterin, he 
told them, “Let he who wishes to obey the Emperor and us put on 
white clothing and take a wife at this hour; those who do not want to 
do so shall be blinded and exiled to Cyprus.” His speech and action 
were simultaneous, and on that day many martyrs were revealed and 
many who abandoned their vocations were lost: to these Drakon was 

On January 14 of the same ninth indiction a son was born to the 
Emperor Leo and Irene. He was named Constantine, as his grand- 
father Constantine was still alive. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6263 (SEPTEMBER 1, 771— AUGUST 31, 772) 

31. 17. 2. 6. 

In this year ibn Wakkas attacked Romania. He advanced from 
Isauria to the fortress of Sykes, which he besieged. When the Emperor 
heard of this, he wrote to Michael the general of the Anatolies, Manes 
of the Bukellarii, and to Bardanes of the Armeniacs, who all moved to 
seize the rugged pass which was ibn Wakkas’ exit-route. Under its 
general the protospatharios Petronas, the Kibyrhaiots’ naval force 
reached Sykes’ harbor and anchored there. When he saw this, ibn 


Wakkas lost hope for himself. But he encouraged and inspired his 
troops, who sallied forth against the mounted thematic troops while 
shouting their war-cry and put them to rout. He killed many of them 
and captured all the territory roundabout, then withdrew with much 

In jhe same year Michael Lakhanodrakon, the general of the 
Thrake&ian theme, sent out his secretary Leo (surnamed Kouloukes) 
446 and Leo Koutzodaktylos (an abbot) to sell all the monastic communi- 
ties (both for men and women) and all their holy gear, books, and 
beasts, as well as whatever was under their management. He turned 
over to the Emperor the price these things brought. Whatever monas- 
tic books or books of the fathers he found, he burned. If it seemed 
someone had the remains of a saint in an amulet, he also consigned 
that to the flames and punished the person who had it for impiety. He 
whipped many monks to death, while others he put to the sword; he 
blinded a countless number. He set fire to some monks’ beards by 
anointing them with oil, and thus burned their faces and heads; he sent 
others into exile after many tortures. Finally, he would not allow one 
single man in his entire theme to assume monastic garb. And when the 
Emperor, who hated the good, learned this, he wrote Lakhanodrakon 
his thanks: “I have found you a man after my own heart; you are acting 
as I wish.” The rest imitated him and did the same sort of thing. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6264 (SEPTEMBER 1, 772— AUGUST 31, 773) 

32. 18. 3. 7. 

In this year Abd Allah sent a large army to Africa under Moulabit. 

Al-Fadal Badinar invaded Romania and took five hundred prison- 
ers. The Mopsuestians encountered his men, attacked them, and killed 
a thousand Arabs. 

Abd Allah went to Jerusalem; after fasting, he ordered the Chris- 
tians and Jews tattooed on their hands. Many of the Christians fled to 
Romania by sea. 

Sergios Kourikos was captured outside Sykes, as was Sergios Lakh- 
ebaphos in Cyprus — he was legate for that area. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6265 (SEPTEMBER 1, 773— AUGUST 31, 774) 

33. 19. 4. 8. 

In this year — the twelfth indiction — Constantine set in motion 
against Bulgaria an expedition of 2,000 warships. He boarded the 
scarlet 252 warships with the intention of entering the Danube, and left 

252. Again, the imperial color — cf. note 54. 



the generals of the thematic cavalry behind, outside the passes. If they 
447 could, they were to invade Bulgaria while the Bulgars were occupied 
with him. But when he had gone as far as Varna, he grew fearful and 
planned to retreat. The Bulgars, however, had also grown fearful when 
they saw him, and sent a boyar, Tzigatos, to ask for peace. The two 
sides agreed with each other that the Bulgars should not sally forth 
against Romania, nor should the Emperor make it his business to 
invade Bulgaria. They made written agreements with each other on 
these terms. The Emperor withdrew; after he entered the city he 
released the units from the themes to the fortresses he had built. 

In October of the eleventh indiction [sic], the Emperor received 
from his secret friends in Bulgaria a message that the lord of Bulgaria 
had sent out boyars with a 12,000-man army to capture Berzitia and 
transfer its population to Bulgaria. Constantine did not want it known 
that he was going to move against the Bulgars, because the lord of 
Bulgaria’s envoys had come to him. While they were still in the city, 
he pretended he was moving against the Arabs, and his banners and 
equipage even crossed over. 253 But once he had sent away the envoys 
and learned from his spies that they had left, he quickly raised his army 
and set out. He assembled units from the thematic armies and the 
Thrakesians and joined the optimatoi 254 to the palace guards, levying 
80,000 men. When he came to a place called Lithosoria, 255 he fell on 
the Bulgars without sounding his trumpets and routed them: a great 
victory. He returned to the city in triumph, with much booty and many 
prisoners. He called the war a noble one, since he had invaded success- 
fully without any opposition, slaughter of Christians, or Christian 
blood shed. 

253. To the Asiatic side of the Bosporos. 

254. The optimatoi (a word derived either from the Latin optimi [the best 
troops] or, more probably, the Latin Optimates [a band of nobles]) were 
unusual in that, while organized on the thematic model in their territory in the 
northwest corner of Asia Minor, they were normally an army service unit 
rather than a fighting force. In the early days of the seventh century they had 
indeed been an elite, being ranked by the military author who goes under the 
name of Maurice as equals to the foederati, who were definitely first-class 
troops. They were probably degraded to noncombatant status after backing 
Artavasdos against Constantine V during the former’s rebellion after the death 
of Leo III; this muster of them by Constantine V appears to have been one 
of the rare times they were allowed to bear arms thereafter, and was an 
emergency measure only. 

255. “Heap of stones.” 



ANNUS MUNDI 6266 (SEPTEMBER 1, 773— AUGUST 31, 774 2SO ) 

34. 20. 5. 9. 

In this year two hundred eighty heads which had come from Africa 
were paraded in Syria. 

Since the Emperor had broken the peace with the Bulgars, he once 
more prepared a large naval force. He brought 12,000 cavalrymen to 
448 it and sent all the admirals of the naval force with it, though he himself 
stayed with the cavalry out of fear. When the expedition reached Me- 
sembria a strong north wind blew up; almost all the ships were 
smashed to pieces, and many men were killed. The Emperor withdrew 
without having done anything. 

Telerigos the lord of Bulgaria knew the Emperor had learned of 
his plans from his own men; he wrote to Constantine: “I am of a mind 
to flee to you, but send me a guarantee that I will not be harmed. Also, 
tell me who your friends here are, so I can encourage them to come 
with me.” Out of simplicity, Constantine wrote back, and Telerigos got 
rid of them all once he had learned. When Constantine learned this 
he tore out many of his gray hairs. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6267 (SEPTEMBER 1, 774— AUGUST 31, 775) 

35. 21. 6. 10. 

In this year — the thirteenth indiction — the Emperor Constantine 
sallied forth against the Bulgars in August. At that time his legs were 
terribly burnt by a God-sent plague, unknown to his doctors, which 
caused a severe fever. He was overcome by its overpowering inflamma- 
tion at Arkadiopolis, and retreated, carried in a bed on his subjects’ 
shoulders. He came to Selymbria, boarded ship, and on September 14 
of the fourteenth indiction reached the castle of Strongylon. Pitiably 
dying in his warship, he cried out: “I have been given to unquenchable 
fire while still alive.” Her implacable enemy demanded hymns to the 
Virgin and Mother of God. Thus did the autokrator give up his life; 
he had ruled thirty-four years, two months, and twenty-six days after 
his father’s death. He was defiled by the blood of many Christians, by 
invocations of demons and sacrifices to them, by persecution of the 
holy churches and the true and blameless faith, and by the murder of 
monks and the parceling out of monasteries. He had done all sorts of 
wicked deeds, no less than had Diocletian 257 and the tyrants of old. 

256. See the introduction’s discussion of chronology, p. xviii. 

257. Diocletian (284-305), at the instigation of his Caesar Galerius, 
began a great persecution of Christianity in 303. Carried on by some of his 
successors, this persecution continued until 313. 

4 35 



In the same month the Arabs’ ruler Abd Allah also died. By divine 
providence these two terrible beasts, who had so long divided the 

449 human race, died at the same time. Their sons Leo and Mahdi became 
the rulers. 

Also in the same year, Theodotos the king of the Lombards fled 
to the Emperor in the imperial city. 258 

ANNUS MUNDI 6268 (SEPTEMBER 1, 775— AUGUST 31, 776) 
a.d. 768 

Roman Emperor Leo: 5 years : year 1 

Arab ruler Mahdi: 9 years: year 1 

Bishop of Rome Hadrian: 27 years: year 7 

Bishop of Constantinople Niketas: 14 years: year 11 

In this year Mahdi sent a large force under Abasbali against Ro- 
mania. He forced open the cave of Kasin with smoke, captured the men 
in it, and withdrew. 

The Emperor Leo began to dip into the money his father had left 
behind for him, and to propitiate the army and the people in the city. 
For a little while he seemed to be pious, and a friend to the Mother 
of God and the monks. Because of this, he appointed metropolitans to 
many of the leading thrones from among the abbots. He levied many 
soldiers from the themes to strengthen the imperial guards. This 
roused the officers of the thematic forces, who entered the city with a 
large host of soldiers and asked Leo to raise his son Constantine to the 
imperial dignity. 

But he, as was proper for Emperors, replied, “He is my only son, 
and I am afraid to do so, lest humanity’s fate befall me. Because he 
would be so young, you would kill him and choose someone else.” But 
they agreed to assure Leo on oath that no-one would become Emperor 
save his son, even if God should will that he die. Because the army 
assembled in the hippodrome to demand this from Palm Sunday to 
Maundy Thursday, he ordered them to swear it on holy gear. All the 
people — the thematic troops, senators, palace guards, and all the citi- 
zens and artisans — swore on the precious and lifegiving wood not to 
accept anyone as Emperor save Leo, Constantine, and their seed. By 
their own hands they made written agreements, just as they had sworn. 

On the next day, the holy sabbath, the Emperor went to the 

450 tribunal of the nineteenth Akkubita and appointed his brother Eudoki- 
mos nobilissimus. While still alive, his father had appointed An- 

258. Properly, Desiderius. The Lombard king was fleeing the conquer- 
ing armies of Charlemagne, who destroyed the Lombard kingdom in 774. 


thimos. 259 Then the Emperor went to the great church with the two 
Caesars, the three nobilissimi, and the young Constantine. As was 
customary for Emperors, Leo changed his clothing, then mounted to 
the pulpit with his son and the patriarch. All the people came in and 
put their written agreements on the holy table. The Emperor spoke as 
follows: “Well, brothers, I am fulfilling your request and giving you my 
son as Emperor. Lo, receive him from the church and from Christ’s 

They cried out in a loud voice, “Be our surety, Son of God, that 
we have received our lord Constantine the Emperor from Your hands, 
to protect and die for him.” 

On the following day, the great Sunday of Easter, April 24 of the 
fourteenth indiction, at daybreak the Emperor and the patriarch went 
to the hippodrome. The holy sacrament was brought in while all the 
people watched; the patriarch performed the prayer while the Em- 
peror crowned his son. Thus the two Emperors went on to the great 
church with the two Caesars and three nobilissimi. After the Emperors 
had gone ahead, the Empress Irene also went; the scholae attended her 
with the scepters. She went up through the Bronze Gate’s stairway to 
the upper gate, although she did not go into the middle of the portico. 

In May of the same indiction the Caesar Nikephoros (the Em- 
peror’s brother) was denounced to Leo on the grounds that he had 
plotted against him with some of the Emperor’s spatharioi, grooms, 
and other servants. The Emperor convened a silentium at Magnaura 
and put to the army what had been reported about Nikephoros. With 
one accord they shouted that both Caesars should be exiled from the 
Emperor’s heart, since they (who always broke their oaths) were paying 
no mind to what they had sworn to their father: that after his death his 
children would not be wronged. The Emperor beat and tonsured the 
451 revolutionaries, exiling them to the vicinity of Cherson under guard 
and in safekeeping. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6269 (SEPTEMBER 1, 776— AUGUST 31, 777) 

2 . 2 . 8 . 12 . 

In this year Thumama son of Baka invaded Romania, took many 
prisoners, and withdrew. 

Telerigos, the lord of the Bulgars, fled to the Emperor. Leo made 
him a patrician and married him to a cousin of his own wife Irene. The 
Emperor received Telerigos favorably and honored him after he had 
been baptized at the holy font. 

259. Another younger brother of Leo IV. 

1 37 


ANNUS MUNDI 6270 (SEPTEMBER 1, 777— AUGUST 31, 778) 

3. 3. 9. 13. 

In this year Thumama rebelled, enthroning himself at Dabekon. 
The Emperor loosed the Romans’ armies: 100,000 men invaded 
Syria. They were led by Michael Lakhanodrakon of the Thrakesians, 
Artavasdos the Armenian of the Anatolies, Karisterotzes of the Ar- 
meniacs, and Gregory Mousouliakos of the Opsikion. They sur- 
rounded Germanikeia and seized all the camels of Mahdi’s uncle 
Isbaali, who was there. They would also have taken Germanikeia had 
Isbaali not bribed Lakhanodrakon not to do so. He withdrew from the 
fortress to harass its villages, then returned to the fortress after captur- 
ing some Syrian Jacobite heretics. 

Thumama sent out from Dabekon emirs with an army. When they 
joined battle with the Romans, as they say, five emirs and 2,000 Arabs 
fell. But the Arabs got away with their equipment, for Sunday was 
beginning. The Emperor held May Day at Sophianai; he sat on a 
452 throne there with his son, and in this way the generals celebrated their 
victories. Leo forced the Syrian heretics to cross to Thrace and settled 
them there. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6271 (SEPTEMBER 1, 778— AUGUST 31, 779) 

4. 4. 10. 14. 

In this year the Arab ruler Mahdi, furious, sent out Hasan with a 
large force of Black-cloaks, Syrians, and Mesopotamians, who ad- 
vanced as far as Dorylaion. The Emperor arranged with his generals 
that they should not meet the Arabs in the field, but secure the for- 
tresses and bring in men to guard them. He also sent high-ranking 
officers to each fortress, who were to take about 3,000 select soldiers 
to dog the Arabs’ heels so their raiding party would not break up. Even 
before this, they were to burn whatever fodder was to be found for the 
Arabs’ horses. 

After the Arabs had been in Dorylaion for fifteen days, they ran 
out of supplies and their animals went begging; there were heavy 
losses among them. They retreated and besieged Am orion for one 
day, but when they realized it was strong and well-garrisoned, they 
withdrew without accomplishing anything. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6272 (SEPTEMBER 1, 779— AUGUST 31, 780) 

Bishop of Constantinople Paul: 5 years 

5. 5. 11. 1. 

In this year the Arab ruler Mahdi went to Dabekon with a large 
force and armament. He sent his son Hasan against Romania, while he 


himself returned to the holy city. He also sent out Moukhesias, known 
as the Zealot, with the authority to devastate the holy churches and to 
make the Christians’ slaves apostasize. Moukhesias went as far as 
Emesa, and reported that he could not make them apostasize (except 
for those who had been from peoples outside the faith) until he knew 
who the Hebrews and Christians were. Thereupon he godlessly began 
to torture them more than even Lysias and Agrikolaos 260 had ever 
done, putting many to death. But, by the grace of Christ our Lord, 
women overcame his madness. They were fine ladies: the daughter of 
the archdeacon of Emesa and the daughter of Hesaios’ son. They were 
tortured over a long period, but did not yield to impiety. They took 
453 as many as a thousand strokes from a leather lash, and were tested by 
many other punishments, but gained the crown of victory from Christ. 
Disregarding the guarantees the Arabs had given the Christians, 
Moukhesias went all the way to Damascus while laying waste their 

On February 7 (the Sunday of cheese-eating) of the third indiction 
died the Slavic eunuch Niketas, the patriarch of Constantinople. Al- 
though he tried to beg off, on the second Sunday of Lent the honored 
Paul was chosen patriarch of Constantinople; he was under strong 
duress because of the dominant heresy. A Cypriot in origin, he was a 
reader brilliant in speech and action. 

In the middle week of Lent, Jacob the protospatharios, Papias, 
Strategios, and Theophanes the cubicularii and parakoimomenoi, 261 
and Leo and Thomas (also cubicularii) were arrested with other pious 
men, because they had given reverence to the august, holy icons. Then 
Leo the son of the persecutor revealed his concealed wickedness: he 
mercilessly cudgeled them, tonsured them and, once he had made 
them parade through the Mese, imprisoned them in the Praitorion. 
Theophanes died there, becoming a confessor and acquiring the 
crown of martyrdom. After Leo’s death, all the rest were shown to be 
excellent monks. 

Harun invaded the Armeniac theme and besieged the fortress of 
Semalouos all summer long; in September he took it on terms. He sent 
50,000 men to Asia under Thumama. Michael Lakhanodrakon en- 
countered and attacked a small raiding party, killing Thumama’s 

On September 8 of the fourth indiction Constantine’s son Leo 
died in this way: he was mad about precious stones, and was in love 

260. Lysias was a Seleucid general who fought against the Maccabees 
when they rebelled in the 160s b.c. No Agrikolaos appears in Pauly-Wissowa- 
Kroll’s Real-Encyclopadie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft. 

261. These officials performed functions virtually identical to those of 
the cubicularii, and like them were almost always eunuchs. 




with the great church’s crown. Coals came out from it onto his head 
and caused a severe fever. He died after ruling five years, less six days. 

454 ANNUS MUNDI 6273 (SEPTEMBER 1, 780— AUGUST 31, 781) 
a.d. 773 

Roman Emperor Constantine (with his mother): 16 years: year l 

Arab ruler Mahdi: 9 years: year 6 

Bishop of Rome Hadrian: 27 years: year 12 

Bishop of Constantinople Paul: 5 years: year 2 

In this year — the fourth indiction — on September 8 God unex- 
pectedly entrusted the rule to the most pious Irene and her son Con- 
stantine, so He could work a miracle through a widow-woman and an 
orphan child. By this means He intended to destroy the boundless 
impiety against Him and His helpers, as well as His enemy Constan- 
tine’s tyranny over all the churches, as long ago He had cured the 
sailors and illiterates from the illness of the devil. 

After Irene had ruled for forty days, some of the men in power 
formed a cabal. Because Irene’s son was only ten years old, they 
wanted to summon the Caesar Nikephoros and make him Emperor. 
When this plot was revealed, Gregory the logothete of the drome, 
Bardas (who was then general of the Armeniacs), Constantine (spa- 
tharios of the vicarius and domesticus of the excubitores), Theo- 
phylaktos Rhangabe (the drungarius of the Dodekanese), and many 
others were arrested. Irene beat and tonsured them, then exiled them 
to various places. She tonsured her in-laws the Caesars and nobilissimi 
and made them priests, then made them minister to the people at the 
festival of Christ’s birth. At that time she also regally went out in public 
with her son and presented to the church the crown her husband had 
stolen away, which she had ornamented further with pearls. 

As he had previously commanded the men there, she appointed 
the patrician Elpidios general of Sicily, and sent him off in February. 
But in April Elpidios was denounced on the grounds that he was of the 
Caesars’ party. Irene immediately dispatched the spatharios Theo- 
philos with orders to arrest and bring back Elpidios. But when Theo- 
philos got there, the Sicilians would not give up Elpidios. Irene beat 

455 and tonsured Elpidios’ wife and sent her and his sons to the Praitorion 
under guard. 

In June she sent all the opposite shore’s 262 thematic armies to 
guard the passes and be on the lookout for the Arabs’ military expedi- 

262. That is, those thematic armies from the themes of Asia Minor, 
where iconoclastic sentiment was strongest. 


tion. At their head she put the sakellarios John, a eunuch who was an 
intimate of hers. Mahdi dispatched a large force under Abd al-Kabir, 
and they met each other at a place called Melon. When battle was 
joined the Arabs were defeated and many of them were killed; they 
retreated in disgrace. 

The pious began to speak freely, the word of God began to wax, 
those who wished to be saved began to be appointed without hin- 
drance, the monasteries began to be delivered, and everything good 
began to become manifest. At this time a man digging in Thrace found 
a coffin. He cleaned it and, looking inside, found a man lying in it. 
There were also letters inlaid on the coffin, whose content was this: 
“Christ was certainly born of the Virgin Mary, and I believe in Him. 
Sun, look on me again in the reign of the Emperors Constantine and 

ANNUS MUNDI 6274 (SEPTEMBER 1, 781— AUGUST 31, 782) 

2. 7. 13. 3. 

In this year Irene sent Konstaes the sakellarios and Mamalos the 
primikerios 263 to Charles the king of the Franks to betroth his daughter 
(who was called Erythro 264 ) to her son the Emperor Constantine. After 
they came to an agreement and exchanged oaths with each other, the 
eunuch scribe Elissaios was left behind to teach Erythro the Greeks’ 265 
letters and customs and to educate her in the customs of the Roman 

Irene armed a large fleet with select troops from the thematic 
forces and competent officers. She appointed Theodore, a vigorous 
man, as its leader and sent him to Sicily against Elpidios. After many 
great battles, Theodore’s men won. Taking fright as he saw this, Elpid- 
ios took such money as he had and crossed to Africa with the duke 
Nikephoros. He went over to the Arabs after receiving a guarantee that 
he would not be harmed. They received him favorably and let him 
456 continue as Roman Emperor, vainly crowning him and clothing him 
with boots and crown. 

While the Roman army was occupied in this area, Mahdi’s son 
Harun sallied forth with an overwhelming force and armament gath- 

263. A high palace official. 

264. A Greek translation of Rotrude, her true name: both mean “red.” 

265. tS>v FpaiKwv. Unlike his usual practice, here Theophanes does not 
call the Byzantines “Romans,” nor does he use the classical Greek word for 
a Greek: Hellene. This had developed a new meaning, as it was usually used 
to refer to the pagan Greeks when contrasting them to Christians (see above, 
under annus mundi 6241, where Theophanes uses “Hellene” to describe the 
pagans of Harran). 


H 1 


ered from among the Black-cloaks and from all Syria, Mesopotamia, 
and the desert. He advanced all the way to Chrysopolis, leaving ibn 
Yunus behind to besiege Nakoleia and guard his back. He also sent 
30 000 men into Asia under Barmak, 266 who attacked Lakhanodrakon 
a t a place called Darenos; of his 30,000 men, Lakhanodrakon killed 
15,000. The Empress dispatched the imperial guards under the 
domesticus Antonius: he took Banes and shut up its inhabitants. 

Tatzatios the general of the Bukellarii fled to the Arabs because 
he hated the patrician and logothete of the drome Staurakios, a eunuch 
who administered all affairs and was the most important man of his 
time. After Tatzatios had made a plan for them, the Arabs asked for 
peace. But when Staurakios, Peter the magistros, and Antonius the 
domesticus came to negotiate, they did not accurately weight the 
promise that they would receive as hostages the children of important 
men, but senselessly advanced, only to be captured and bound by the 

Both sides were compelled to make peace. The Augusta and 
Harun gave each other many friendly gifts and arranged to pay tribute 
at the appropriate time. After the peace the Arabs withdrew, freeing 
the fortress of Nakoleia. Tatzates [sic] lost his wife and all his property. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6275 (SEPTEMBER 1, 782 — AUGUST 31, 783) 

3 . 8 . 14 . 4 . 

In this year Irene, because she had made peace with the Arabs, 
found an opportunity to send a large force under the patrician and 
logothete of the imperial drome Staurakios against the Sklavmian 
tribes. He went to Thessalonike and Greece, subjected them all, and 
made them tributary to the Empire. He also entered the Peloponnese, 
457 took many prisoners and much booty, and brought it to the Roman 

ANNUS MUNDI 6276 (SEPTEMBER 1, 783— AUGUST 31, 784) 

4 . 9 . 15 . 5 . 

In this year — the seventh indiction — in January Staurakios re- 
turned from the Sklavinias and held a triumphal procession to the 

In May of the seventh indiction the Empress Irene went to I hrace 

266. The Barmakids were the hereditary wazirs (prime ministers) of the 
early Abbasid caliphs, and grew fabulously wealthy. They retained their promi- 
nent position until 803, when Harun executed Jafar Barmaki and confiscated 
the family’s property. 



with her son and a large force; they were carrying tools and musical 
instruments. She went as far as Beroia and, ordering it rebuilt, re- 
named it Irenopolis. She rebuilt Ankhialos and went all the way to 
Philippopolis without any harm whatever, then withdrew in peace. 

In the same year the Arabs’ ruler Mahdi (also known as Muham- 
mad) died, and his son Musa took power. 

On August 31 of the seventh indictidn Paul, the devout and holy 
patriarch, abandoned his throne because of illness. He went to the 
monastery of Florus and received monastic garb without the Empress’ 
knowledge. When she learned of this she went to him with her son and, 
distressed, cried out, “Why have you done this?” 

With deep mourning he told her, “You should be used to the fact 
that I did not willingly sit on the throne of holiness, as the church has 
been ruled tyranically. It is in schism from the remaining catholic 
thrones and has been anathematized by them.” Irene summoned the 
patricians and picked men from the senate and sent them to hear what 
he was saying. He told them, “If there is no ecumenical council, and 
if the error in our midst is not corrected, you will not be saved.” 
They asked him, “At the time when you were appointed, why did 
you subscribe to giving no reverence to icons?” 

He said, “I am in mourning because of that. I have taken refuge 
in repentance, and I beg God not to punish me, for I am a priest who 
kept silent until now and did not proclaim the truth from fear of your 
458 anger.” In this way he died in peace, leaving behind deep mourning 
in the Empire and in the pious men of the state. For he was a worship- 
ful man, more than usually compassionate, and deserved total respect. 
The state and the Empress had had a great deal of faith in him. From 
this time on everyone began to talk about the issue of the holy, revered 
icons, which was addressed in open discussion. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6277 (SEPTEMBER 1, 784— AUGUST 31, 785) 

Arab ruler Musa: 1 year 

Bishop of Constantinople Tarasios: 21 years 

5 . 1 . 16 . 1 . 

In this year the Empress Irene assembled all the people at Mag- 
naura and said to them, “You know, brothers, what Paul the patriarch 
has done. And had he lived, we would not have accepted his abandon- 
ment of the throne of holiness, even if he did assume monastic garb. 
But since, as was best to God, he has departed from life, let us think 
of a man who can be our shepherd and can make the church of God 
lean on his instructive words.” They unanimously agreed that this 
could be no-one else but the asekretes Tarasios. She told them, “We 




also chose the same man, but he will not obey. He should state why 
he does not accept the choice of the Empress and all the people.” 

He defended himself to the people, saying, “Our faithful rulers 
are the guardians of the blameless faith of us Christians, and are eager 
that everything should be done for the glory of God. In order to please 
Him, they are doing for us all that which is expedient in their thoughts. 
Most of all, they are now carefully concerned with ecclesiastical affairs 
and are thinking about them in order to appoint a chief prelate in their 
imperial city. In their pious minds they have considered me, and have 
openly ordered me to explain what they have devised for me. But I am 
a man who has declared himself unworthy for this purpose. I have not 
acquiesced, because I am unable to lift the yoke of this burden or bear 
up under it. They have ordered me to come before you in person, 

459 because you agree with their plan. And now, gentlemen who fear God 
and hold Him in your hearts, you who are called by the name of our 
true God Christ (I mean, Christians), listen to a brief defense state- 
ment on my shoddiness and unworthiness. If I defended myself to our 
rulers, who are pious and absoutely orthodox, I also further defend 
myself in your sight, and I am very much afraid to agree to this choice. 

“I am wary of, as it were, thoughtlessly running from God’s face 
in this way, lest I fall under a fearful judgment. For if the holy apostle 
Paul (who had heard divine, ineffable voices, had heaven as a school, 
and exalted the name of God before peoples and kings) said when he 
wrote to the Corinthians, ‘Whether or not I have preached to others, 
I myself am reprobate,’ how can I, who have been involved with the 
world, have always been a layman, and have campaigned in the impe- 
rial service, leap into so great a holiness without consideration or 
examination? The effort is fearful because I am so small, and the 
matter is risky: this why I am afraid and beg off. 

“I see and observe that His church, founded on the rock of Christ 
our God, is now divided and in schism. We say now one thing, now 
another, and the eastern Christians (who are of the same faith as 
ourselves) disagree. Those of the west agree with them. We are es- 
tranged from them all and anathematized by them individually. Anath- 
ema is a terrible thing. It hurls one far from God and drives one from 
His kingdom into the outer darkness. The church’s rule and law have 
not known strife and contention. Just as they know they should agree 
on one baptism and one faith, in that way there should also be agree- 
ment on every ecclesiastical matter. For is it not virtuous and accept- 
able in God’s eyes for us to unite and become one catholic church, 
brothers, just as we crave and confess in the symbol of our true faith? 
I think even you are brothers, since I know you fear God. 

460 “Our pious and orthodox rulers should convene an ecumenical 
council so the followers of one God might become one, the followers 
of the Trinity might be united, like of soul, and equal of honor, the 

followers of Christ our Head might come into harmony and travel 
together as one body, the followers of the Spirit might be with and not 
against each other, the followers of the truth might believe and say the 
same things, and there might be no strife or dissension among us. In 
this way God’s peace, which prevails over every mind, might watch 
over us all. If our rulers, the champions of orthodoxy, order my re- 
quest agreed to, I will acquiesce and eagerly follow your choice. But 
if not, I find it impossible to do so, lest I be put under anathema and 
find myself condemned by our Lord the judge of justice on the day 
when neither Emperor nor priest nor officers nor host of men could 
deliver me. If any part of my defense — or rather, my request — seems 
worthy to you, brothers, give me an answer.” 

Everyone who heard what he had said readily agreed there should 
be a council. Tarasios once more spoke to the people. He said, “The 
Emperor Leo overthrew the icons, and the synod, 267 when it took 
place, found them already overthrown. Because they were overturned 
by the imperial hand, our council should hold another inquiry since, 
as seemed good to them, they dared do away with ancient customs 
handed down in the church. But, speaking apostolically, God’s truth 
cannot be fettered.” 

On December 25 of the eighth indiction our holy father Tarasios 
was chosen patriarch of Constantinople. He sent his synodic letters to 
Rome, and his statement of faith was accepted by pope Hadrian. The 
Empress also sent a message to that pope, asking him to send letters 
and men to join in the council. Hadrian sent Peter the administrator 
of his church and Peter the abbot of the monastery of St. Saba, honor- 
able men adorned with every virtue. The Empress and the patriarch 
461 also sent men to Antioch and Alexandria, for the peace with the Arabs 
had not yet been broken. From Antioch they brought John, who shared 
the holiness of the patriarch of Antioch and was his synkellos; he was 
great and famous in speech and action. From Alexandria they brought 
back Thomas, a zealous, pious man who later became famous as the 
archbishop of the great Illyrian city of Thessalonike. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6278 (SEPTEMBER 1, 785— AUGUST 31, 786) 

Arab ruler Harun: 23 years 

6 . 1 . 17 . 2 . 

In this year the Arabs’ ruler Musa died, and his brother Harun 
took over the rule. He too showed the Christians many evils. 

In the same year the rulers sent messages summoning all the 

267. Constantine V’s council, which he deemed ecumenical, held at 
Hiereia in 754. 

! 44 




bishops under their dominion. With their arrival (and that of the men 
and letters sent from Rome by pope Hadrian, as we said before) came 
that of the men from Antioch and Alexandria. On August 27 of the 
ninth indiction they sat in state in the church of the Holy Apostles in 
the imperial city. By way of preface, they began to read from the holy 
scriptures and hold discussions with each other while the rulers 
watched from their special area. 

But the troops of the scholarii, the excubitores,' and the rest of the 
imperial guards bared their blades to attack the bishops, threatening 
the patriarch and the orthodox bishops and abbots with death. Their 
officers had whispered to them, and they also clung to the precepts of 
their wicked teacher. 268 When the Empress tried to repulse the troops 
through some close associates standing by her, the men would not 
obey, but instead dishonored the prelates even more. The patriarch 
grew agitated and ascended to the altar with the orthodox bishops and 
monks, while the bishops who were of the same wicked spirit as the 
462 troops went out to them, crying, “We have conquered!” By the grace 
of God, these mad, inhuman men mistreated no-one, but after the 
synod was disrupted in this way, each of them went back to his own 

ANNUS MUNDI 6279 (SEPTEMBER 1, 786— AUGUST 31, 787) 

7. 2 . 18 . 3 . 

In this year — at. the beginning of the tenth indiction — in Septem- 
ber the Empress sent the patrician and logothete Staurakios to the 
thematic forces from the opposite shore which were then in Thrace. 
Staurakios persuaded them to cooperate with her and oust from the 
city the impious army which the accursed Constantine had levied and 
trained. Irene was pretending to campaign in the east, using the excuse 
that the Arabs were moving out. The entire imperial retinue and the 
court advanced to Malagina; meanwhile, the troops from the outer 
themes entered and took the city. Irene sent the palace guards a mes- 
sage: “Give me your weapons, for I have no service for you.” Since 
God had made them foolish, they gave them up. Then she loaded their 
families into ships and exiled them from the city, ordering each of 
them to return to his own native village. 

Once she had officers loyal to her and her own army, in May she 
again sent messages everywhere, summoning bishops to the Bithynian 
city of Nikaia for a synod there. Everyone assembled at Nikaia all 
through the summer; nor had Irene sent the men from Rome and the 

268. That is, Constantine V. 

easterners away from the court, but rather had kept them by her. 

On Sunday, September 9 of the eleventh indiction, there was a 
great solar eclipse at the fifth hour of the day, while the divine liturgy 
was being celebrated. 269 

ANNUS MUNDI 6280 (SEPTEMBER 1, 787— AUGUST 31, 788) 

8 . 3 . 19 . 4 . 

In this year Tarasios, the holy archbishop of Constantinople, went 
to Nikaia to convene the seventh holy ecumenical council of three 
hundred fifty bishops. The catholic church regained its ancient form: 
the council did not establish anything new, but preserved the tranquil 
463 doctrines of the holy, blessed fathers. Renouncing the new heresy, it 
anathematized the three men falsely known as patriarchs (I mean, 
Anastasios, Constantine, and Niketas) and all their partisans. The first 
meeting and session of the bishops took place in the church of St. 
Sophia of Nikaia on October 1 1 of the eleventh indiction. - 

In November everyone entered the imperial city. The rulers sat in 
state with the bishops at Magnaura. As a preface, a tome was read, and 
the Emperor and his mother signed it, affirming the holy fathers’ piety 
and ancient doctrines. They honored the priests, then dismissed them. 
The church of God made peace, even if His enemy did not stop sowing 
his weeds among his own workers. But whenever it is attacked, God’s 
church conquers. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6281 (SEPTEMBER 1, 788— AUGUST 31, 789) 

9 . 4 . 20 . 5 . 

In this year an Arab raiding party sallied forth against Romania in 
September. It invaded the Anatolic theme at a place called Kopidna- 
don. The Romans’ generals assembled to attack it, but were defeated. 
Many died, not a few of them from among the exiled scholarii. Dioge- 
nes, the able turmarch of the Anatolic troops, also fell, as did officers 
from the theme of the Opsikion. 

The Empress Irene broke off her reconciliation with the Franks. 
She dispatched Theophanes the protospatharios to bring back a 
maiden, by name Maria of Amnia, from the Armeniac theme. Irene 
married her to her son the Emperor Constantine, although he was 
quite distressed and unwilling because he was being parted from the 
daughter of the Frankish king Charles, to whom he had already been 

269. This is actually the eclipse of September 16, 787: Newton, op. cit., 


! 4 7 



engaged. They celebrated his marriage in November of the twelfth 

464 Philetos, the general of Thrace, made camp at the Strymon River 
without adequate guard. When the Bulgars fell on him, he and many 
others were killed. 

Irene sent the sakellarios and minister of military affairs John to 
the land of the Lombards with Thcodotos (who had once been king 
of great Lombardy) to hold off Charles — if they could — and to detach 
some men from him; with them was Theodore the patrician and gen- 
eral of Sicily. But when battle was joined, John was defeated by the 
Franks and horribly killed. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6282 (SEPTEMBER 1, 789— AUGUST 31, 790) 

10 . 5 . 21 . 6 . 

In this year, out of envy of the rulers’ piety, the devil incited 
wicked men to engage the mother against her son and the son against 
his mother. As if from foreknowledge, they persuaded her, “It is not 
ordained that your son should rule the state if you do not, as God gave 
it to you,” and were fully believed. Since Irene was a woman (and was 
also power-hungry) she was deceived, and felt assured this was so. She 
did not reckon that they had used it as a pretext because they wanted 
to manage affairs themselves. 

The Emperor was twenty years old, strong and competent, but 
saw he had no power. He was dismayed when he saw the patrician and 
logothete Staurakios occupied with everything. Everyone went to Stau- 
rakios, and no-one dared visit the Emperor. Constantine plotted with 
his own few intimates and with the magistros Peter and the patricians 
Theodore Kamoulianos and Damianos; they decided to seize Stau- 
rakios and exile him to Sicily. Constantine himself would hold power 
with his mother. 

On February 9 of the thirteenth indiction there was a terrifying 
earthquake, so that some people did not dare sleep indoors, but passed 
their time in orchards and open-air tents. 

465 The Empress and her son went to St. Mamas. When Staurakios 

learned what was afoot, he set the Augusta in motion against her son. 
She arrested the Emperor’s men; after she had cudgeled and tonsured 
them all (as well as his tutor the protospatharios John, who was known 
as Pikridios), she exiled them to the southern lands: as far as Sicily. She 
dishonored and put under house-arrest the magistros Peter, and 
treated the patrician Theodore Kamoulianos in the same way. She beat 
and tonsured the patrician Damianos, then exiled him to the fortress 
of Apollonias. She also beat and reviled her son, and did not let him 


go out for a number of days. She even began to make the army swear, 
“As long as you live, we will not agree to your son’s ruling.” Everyone 
swore in this fashion, since no-one dared oppose the whole body on 
the question. 

An Arab fleet had gone to Cyprus; as the Empress had foreknowl- 
edge of this, she assembled all the Roman naval forces and sent them 
against the Arabs. When they reached Myra, both Roman admirals 
doubled the cape of Khelidonion and entered the bay of Attaleia. The 
Arabs moved out from Cyprus and, since they had fair weather, turned 
about on the sea. When they reappeared, the Roman admirals saw 
them from land; mustering their forces, they made ready to attack. But 
Theophilos the general of the Kibyrhaiotai, a competent, powerful 
man, was overbold, and went out to engage them ahead of anyone else. 
They defeated him and brought him to Harun, who, after observing 
him, urged him to become a traitor and acquire temporary gifts. Since 
he would not agree, he was tortured for a long time, yet still did not 
yield. He submitted to the sword, and was revealed as a noble martyr. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6283 (SEPTEMBER 1, 790— AUGUST 31, 791) 
a.d. 783 

Roman Emperor Constantine: 7 years: year 1 
Arab ruler Harun: 23 years: year 6 
Bishop of Rome Hadrian: 22 years: year 22 
Bishop of Constantinople Tarasios: 21 years: year 7 

In this year — the fourteenth indiction — Irene’s sworn men arrived 
466 in the Armeniac theme. Its troops, however, would not agree to swear, 
“We will not be ruled by your son in your lifetime,” nor would they 
put Irene’s name before Constantine’s, but Constantine’s and then 
Irene's, 270 as they inherited it from the beginning. Irene then dis- 
patched the spatharios and drungarius of the watch Alexios (surnamed 
Mousoulem) to put pressure on them. But they overpowered him, 
choosing their general — Nikephoros the patrician — to lead them. 
While staying on guard, they acclaimed Constantine sole Emperor. 
When the troops of the remaining themes learned this, they drove 
away their generals and also proclaimed Constantine sole Emperor. 

Oh, the trickery of the wicked devil! How eager is he to destroy 
mankind by many wily devices! For, fifteen years before, these men had 
sworn a fearful oath, made written agreements, and put them away in 
the holy altar. Then they swore again to Irene that they would not be 

270. Putting Irene’s name before Constantine’s would have implied that 
she had greater authority than did her son. 



ruled by her son in her lifetime, but they forgot this and acclaimed 
Constantine autokrator. The wretches did not consider that it is not 
proper to make a contradictory oath, for on the heels of a contradictory 
oath will come a false oath, and a false oath is a denial of God. 

In October of the fourteenth indiction the troops of the thematic 
armies gathered at Atroa; their common desire was that Constantine 
should become Emperor (he was in his twentieth year). Irene, fearing 
the onset of the army, tried to dismiss it. But it confirmed Constantine 
as autokrator and renounced his mother. The Emperor immediately 
dispatched Michael Lakhanodrakon and the protospatharios John (his 
tutor), who made the Armeniac troops swear they would not accept his 
mother Irene as Emperor. Constantine confirmed Alexios as their 

Returning to the city in December, the Emperor beat and ton- 
sured Staurakios, then exiled him to the Armeniac theme, thus fully 
assuring its troops. He also exiled the eunuch Aetios (Irene’s proto- 
467 spatharios and bosom friend) and all the eunuchs who were her inti- 
mates. With a guarantee that she would not be harmed, he settled her 
in the palace of Eleutherios, which she had built— and in which she had 
hidden away a large sum of money. 

There was a conflagration in the same month. The patriarchal 
residence’s reception hall, known as the Thomaites, burned, as did 
the quaestor’s residence and many other buildings all the way to the 

In April Constantine campaigned against the Bulgars and entered 
the fortress known as Probaton 271 at the St. George River. When he 
met Kardamos the lord of Bulgaria, there was a small battle around 
sunset. The Romans lost their courage because of nightfall; they m- 
gloriously ran away in retreat. The Bulgars, also fearful, retreated. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6284 (SEPTEMBER 1, 791— AUGUST 31, 792) 

2 . 7 . 23 . 8 . 

In this year the Emperor campaigned against the Arabs in Septem- 
ber. Setting out from Amorion, he advanced to Kilikian Tarsos. But 
when in October of the fifteenth indiction he came to the waterless 
towers, he at once turned about again, empty-handed. 

On January 15 the Emperor was summoned by his mother and 
many of the men in power. He proclaimed her once more, and she 
was acclaimed with him as it had been in the beginning: Constantine 
and Irene. Everyone obeyed except for the theme of the Armemacs. 

271. “Sheep.” 


Its men resisted this and rebelled, asking for Alexios, who had been 
their general a short time before. At this time the Emperor had sum- 
moned him with a safe-conduct, honored him with patrician’s rank, 
and kept him with himself. But because of their request — and be- 
cause of some things said about Alexios (that he intended to become 
Emperor) — Constantine thrashed and tonsured him and held him in 
the Praitorion. 

In July Constantine campaigned against the Bulgars and built a 
fortress at Markellai. On July 20 Kardamos the lord of Bulgaria sallied 
forth with all his forces, whom he stationed in his strong points. False 
prophets persuaded the eager Emperor that victory would be his. He 
joined battle without calculation or order and was severely defeated. 

468 He fled back to the city after losing many men, not only common 
soldiers, but also powerful men, among whom were the magistros 
Michael Lakhanodrakon, the patrician Bardas, the protospatharios 
Stephen Kameas, Niketas and Theognostos (who were both generals), 
and Pankratios the false prophet and astronomer, who had predicted 
Constantine would win. The Bulgars captured the baggage-train, 
money, horses, the court, and the entire imperial retinue. 

The imperial guards assembled in the city and decided to bring 
out the Caesar Nikephoros and make him Emperor. When Constantine 
learned this, he dispatched men who brought all his grandfather Con- 
stantine’s sons to St. Mamas. He blinded Nikephoros and cut out the 
tongues of Christopher, Niketas, Anthimos, and Eudokimos, and at the 
same time also blinded the patrician Alexios. The warnings of his 
mother and the patrician Staurakios had persuaded him that if he did 
not blind Alexios, the troops would choose him Emperor. The punish- 
ment took place on a Saturday in August of the fifteenth indiction, but 
not for long did God’s avenging justice permit this unjust act. For, five 
years later, Constantine was blinded by his own mother on a Saturday 
of the same month. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6285 (SEPTEMBER 1, 792— AUGUST 31, 793) 

3 . 8 . 24 . 9 . 

In this year the troops of the Armeniac theme heard Alexios the 
patrician had been blinded, and imprisoned their general, the patrician 
Theodore Kamoulianos. When the Emperor learned this, he dis- 
patched the protospatharios Constantine Ardaser and Chrysokheres 
the general of the Bukellarii to overpower them with an army from the 
rest of the themes. But in November of the first indiction the rebels 

469 attacked them, captured them both, and blinded them. Many men from 
both sides were slaughtered. 

! 5 ! 



At the second hour of the night on December 25 there was thun- 
der and lightning, which ignited part of the imperial embroidery work- 
shop by the goldsmiths’. 

After holy Easter the Emperor campaigned against the Armeniac 
troops with all the remaining thematic forces. On May 26 of the first 
indiction (the Sunday of Pentecost), he attacked them and won, thanks 
to the double-crossing Armenians with them. Once he had captured 
them, he killed their turmarch Andronikos the spatharios, the tur- 
march Theophilos, and Gregory the bishop of Sinope; he subjected 
the rest to fines and confiscations. He bound a thousand men from 
their fortress, then brought them into the city through the gate of 
Blakhernai at the second hour of June 24. He tattooed “Armeniac 
traitor” on their faces with black ink and scattered them to Sicily and 
other islands. But their betrayers the Armenians, who were not hon- 
ored at all by the Emperor, then betrayed the fortress of Kamakhon 
to the Arabs. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6286 (SEPTEMBER 1, 793— AUGUST 31, 794) 

4. 9. 25. 10. 

In this year — the second indiction — the Arabs took the fortress of 
Thebasa in October on terms. Because of that, they freed its officers 
to be conveyed back to their own country. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6287 (SEPTEMBER 1, 794— AUGUST 31, 795) 

5. 10. 26. 11. 

In this year the Emperor forced his wife Maria to become a nun; 
once he had made her obey, he tonsured her in January of the third 
indiction. He hated her because of the insinuations of his mother, who 
was aiming at the rule: Irene did this to make everyone accuse him. 

In April he campaigned against the Arabs. On May 8 he engaged 
one of their raiding-parties at a place called Anousan; he defeated and 
routed them and drove them all the way to the river. He went to 
Ephesos and offered to the Theologian 272 the revenue of its trade-fair, 
which was a hundred pounds of gold. He felt his burden lightened by 
470 the aid of the holy apostle and evangelist John. 

In August the Emperor crowned the cubicularia Theodote 
Augusta and illegally became engaged to her. 

272. St.John, the patron saint of Ephesos. 


ANNUS MUNDI 6288 (SEPTEMBER 1, 795— AUGUST 31, 796) 

6. 11. 27. 12. 

In this year — the fourth indiction — the Emperor celebrated for 
forty days his marriage to Theodote at the palace of St. Mamas. 

On a Saturday in April of the same fourth indiction there was a 
terrifying earthquake on the island of Crete during the night. There 
was also a frightful one at Constantinople on May 4. 

Kardamos the lord of Bulgaria told the Emperor, “Either pay me 
tribute or I will advance up to the Golden Gate and devastate Thrace.” 
But the Emperor put horse-turds into a towel and sent him this mes- 
sage: “I have sent you such tribute as is appropriate for you. You are 
an old man, and I do not want you to grow weary until it gets to you. 
But I will come to Markellai, and come you out. If there is any issue, 
God shall be the judge.” The Emperor sent messages to the thematic 
forces of the opposite shore, assembled his forces, and advanced to 
Bersinikia. Kardamos came as far as the woods of Abroleba; then, 
because he grew fearful, he stayed in the woods. The Emperor encour- 
aged his army and advanced to the unwooded parts of Abroleba. He 
summoned Kardamos for seventeen days, but the Bulgar did not en- 
dure; he fled back to his own country. 

In the same year the Arabs advanced all the way to Amorion. They 
withdrew without accomplishing anything, although they did take pris- 
oners in the villages surrounding it. 

In the same year Plato the abbot of Sakkoudion broke from com- 
munion with the patriarch Tarasios because Tarasios accepted the 
Emperor in communion 273 and had ordered his catechist to tonsure 
Constantine’s wife Maria, and also had urged the abbot Joseph (abbot 
of the Purified monks) to crown the Emperor and Theodote. When the 
Emperor learned this, he dispatched the patrician Bardanios (the 
471 domesticus of the scholae) and John (the count of the Opsikion), who 
brought Plato into the city and imprisoned him in a cell in the churches 
in the palace’s arkhistrategos. 274 Constantine beat the rest of the 
monks and Plato’s nephew, then exiled them to Thessalonike. The 
Emperor’s mother had been their shield, as they opposed her son and 
brought him disgrace. 

273. He did so even though Constantine VI had put aside his wife to 
marry his mistress Theodote. 

274. A church dedicated to the archangel Michael or Gabriel, each of 
whom was a marshal (arkhistrategos) of the heavenly host. 


1 53 


ANNUS MUNDI 6289 (SEPTEMBER 1, 796— AUGUST 31, 797) 

Bishop of Rome Leo: 8 years 275 
7. 12. 1. 13. 

In this year in September the Emperor went to the hot baths at 
Prusa with his mother. On October 7 of the fifth indiction a son was 
born to Constantine, who named him Leo. When the Emperor learned 
of the birth, he left his mother behind at the baths with all the imperial 
regiments and their officers and hurried back to the city. Elis mother 
took this opportunity to talk with the guards’ officers; she piled up gifts 
and promises so she could oust her son and rule alone herself. She 
flattered some officers personally, others through her men, and she 
drew everyone over to herself, then waited to find the right day. 

After pope Hadrian died in Rome, Leo, a highly honored man and 
one famous in every respect, was chosen. 

In March the Emperor sallied forth against the Arabs; with him 
were the patrician Staurakios, the rest of his mother’s friends, and a 
select body of 20,000 light-armed soldiers from all the themes. Stau- 
rakios’ men saw the fine morale of the army and the Emperor; they 
became afraid lest perchance he should join battle, win, and so throw 
their plot into confusion. They bribed the sentries and convinced them 
to say untruthfully the Saracens had fled. The Emperor, greatly disap- 
pointed, reentered the city without having done anything. 

On May 1 his son Leo died; Constantine mourned him deeply. 

On Friday July 17 of the fifth indiction, while the Emperor was 
going from the horse-races to St. Mamas, the aforementioned mem- 
bers of the palace guards moved to seize him. When he learned this 
472 he boarded one of his warships and crossed to Pylai, intending to flee 
to the Anatolic theme. With him were his mother’s friends, although 
they were not recognized as such by him. His wife also went up to 
Triton. His mother’s friends with him took counsel among themselves 
and said to themselves, “If he musters an army, he will no longer be 
mastered; we shall not escape him, and he will destroy us.” 

At Eleutherios his mother assembled the imperial guards to whom 
she had already spoken, then entered the palace. But when she learned 
the army was cooperating with Constantine, she became terrified, and 
intended to send bishops to him to gain a safe-conduct so she could 
go into seclusion. She also secretly wrote to her friends with him, “If 
you do not devise some way to betray him, I promise I will reveal to 
him your discussions with me.” They became afraid and overpowered 

275. Thus the manuscripts, but Leo III was pope much longer than eight 
years (795-816). In annus mundi 6304 the length of his reign is given as sixteen 
years, and in annus mundi 6305 (812/813) he is given a seventeenth. 


Constantine at prayer at dawn. On Saturday they put him into his 
warship, which reached the city on August 15. 

They shut him up in the Purple Chamber, 276 where he had been 
born. By the will of his mother and her advisors, at around the ninth 
hour he was terribly and incurably blinded with the intention of killing 
him. For seventeen days the sun grew dark, making ships wander and 
go astray. Everyone agreed the sun stored up its rays because the 
Emperor had been blinded. In this way his mother Irene took power. 

In the same year some Roman relatives of the blessed pope Ha- 
drian incited the people to rebel against pope Leo. They overcame and 
blinded him, but were not able to quench his light forever, as the men 
who blinded him were charitable and had mercy. Leo fled to Charles 
the king of the Franks, who took bitter vengeance on his enemies and 
once more restored him to his own throne. Rome has been under the 
473 power of the Franks ever since. 277 In order to repay Charles, Leo 
crowned him Emperor of the Romans in the church of the holy apostle 
Peter, anointing him with olive oil from head to foot and clothing him 
in the imperial regalia and crown. This was on December 25 of the 
ninth indiction. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6290 (SEPTEMBER I, 797— AUGUST 31, 798) 

Roman Empress Irene: 5 years 
1. 13. 2. 14. 

In this year, as soon as she had taken power, Irene immediately 
sent Dorotheos the abbot of Chrysopolis and Constantine the charto- 
phylax of the great church to Abu Malik, who was devastating Kap- 
padokia and Galatia. She sent them out to negotiate for peace, but it 
did not come to pass. 

276. The lying-in chamber of the palace, covered with tiles of imperial 
purple: thus many Emperors were literally “born to the purple (por- 
phyrogenitus ). Indeed, this is the title by which Constantine VII is often known. 

277. As Theophanes states, Charles’ rescue of pope Leo was a motivat- 
ing factor in Leo’s coronation of the Frankish king as Emperor. Others were 
Charles’ great conquests, which had united much of western Europe under his 
rule and given him a domain imperial in scope, and the fact that in a.d. 800 
the Byzantine throne was occupied by a woman, something westerners did not 
find constitutionally valid. The Byzantines deemed Charles’ coronation as 
Emperor a usurpation of a title rightfully theirs alone, and refused to recognize 
him as Emperor until their own weakness after Nikephoros I’s death at the 
hands of the Bulgars in 811 compelled them to do so. Having recognized 
Charlemagne as “Emperor” in 812, the Byzantine Emperors thereafter in- 
creasingly styled themselves “Emperor of the Romans” to distinguish their 
title from his. The later weakness and division of Charlemagne’s successors 
allowed the Byzantines virtually to forget they had recognized his legitimacy 
as Emperor; few of his successors were so recognized. 





In October some rebels went to the imprisoned sons of God’s 
enemy Constantine at the monastery of Therapeia. These men per- 
suaded them to flee to the great church and ask for a firm promise that 
they would not be harmed. Using this as a pretext, the rebels would 
then acclaim one of them Emperor. When many people had assembled 
in the church, the eunuch patrician Aetios came in to lead them out 
for their pledge (which no-one furnished them), but then exiled them 
to Athens. 

The two patricians Staurakios and Aetios, who were intimates of 
the Empress, became enemies and openly revealed their hatred. Each 
of them had plans to procure the Empire for his own relatives after 
Irene’s death. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6291 (SEPTEMBER 1, 798— AUGUST 31, 799) 

2 . 14 . 3 . 15 . 

In this year Abu Malik attacked Romania; he sent out a raiding 
party of light-armed troops, who advanced as far as Malagina. When 
he reached Staurakios’ stables, he took the patrician’s horses and the 
imperial equipage, then withdrew unharmed. The rest of his men 
advanced all the way to Lydia, taking many prisoners. Another one of 
their raiding-parties on a sally descended on the patrician Paul the 
count of the Opsikion, his entire thematic army, and the optimatoi; it 
caused them many casualties, and even took their baggage-train before 

In March of the seventh indiction Akameros (the ruler of the 
474 Sklavinoi of Belzetia), spurred on by the troops of the theme of Hellas, 
wanted to bring forth the sons of Constantine and choose one of them 
Emperor. When the Empress Irene learned this, she sent to the patri- 
cian Constantine Serantopekhos his son the spatharios Theophylak- 
tos, who was also her nephew. She blinded all her opponents and 
broke up the plot against her. 

On the second day of holy Easter the Empress left the church of 
the Holy Apostles borne on a golden chariot drawn by four white 
horses and controlled by four patricians: I mean, Bardanes the general 
of the Thrakesian theme, Sisinnios general of Thrace, Niketas the 
domesticus of the scholae, and Constantine Bo'ilas. She distributed 
abundant consular largess. 

In May the Empress believed she was near death. The eunuchs’ 
strife increased. Aetios took as a partner the patrician Niketas the 
domesticus of the scholae; the two of them attacked Staurakios, per- 
suading the Empress that he was aiming at the rule. Incensed at him, 
she attacked him in the palace of Hiereion, saying he was planning 

riots and insurrections, and that he was the means of his own swiftest 
destruction. He defended himself to her and gained his safety, but 
waxed furious at the patricians Aetios and Niketas. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6292 (SEPTEMBER 1, 799— AUGUST 31, 800) 

3 . 15 . 4 . 16 . 

In this year — the eighth indiction — in February Staurakios devised 
a revolt and insurrection in the imperial city. He had pledged money 
and gifts for the scholarii and excubitores there, as well as for their 
officers. The pious Irene convened a silentium in the triklinos of Jus- 
tinian and kept all the military units from approaching Staurakios. His 
heart failed; he brought up through his mouth foaming blood from his 
475 chest and lungs. Observing this, his doctors declared it a mortal sign. 
But until the very day of his death, which was June 3 of the eighth 
indiction, the rest of his hangers-on and fools convinced him with 
oaths that he would yet live and rule. With them he devised and drove 
home a rising in Kappadokia against Aetios, but was not deemed 
worthy to hear about it while living, for the news of it arrived two days 
after his death. The rebels were quelled and subjected to exile and 

ANNUS MUNDI 6293 (SEPTEMBER 1, 800— AUGUST 31, 801) 

4 . 16 . 5 . 17 . 

In this year — the ninth indiction — on December 25 Charles the 
king of the Franks was crowned by pope Leo. He wished to marshal 
an expedition against Sicily, but desisted, wanting instead to marry 
Irene. In the following year — the tenth indiction — he dispatched am- 
bassadors to gain that end. 

In March of the ninth indiction the pious Irene forgave the Byzan- 
tines the city taxes, and lightened the “commercia” 278 at Abydos and 
Hieron. These and many other benefactions earned her great thanks. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6294 (SEPTMBER 1, 801— AUGUST 31, 802) 

5 . 17 . 6 . 18 . 

In this year the patrician Aetios, free of Staurakios, planned to 
gain power, eager to transfer it to his brother, whom he appointed 
chief general in both Thrace and Macedonia. He himself controlled the 
thematic armies of the other shore: the troops from the Anatolic theme 

278. Customs duties on imports and exports. 





and that of the Opsikion. Full of excitement, he paid little attention to 
the important officers, taking none of them into account. But they were 
extremely disturbed about him, and planned and carried out a revolt 
against the Empress. 

The legates sent to the most pious Irene by Charles and pope Leo 
arrived, asking her to join Charles in marriage and unite East and 
West. Had Aetios not put a stop to this by his frequent speeches, she 
would have done so; he, as co-ruler, was accumulating power for his 

476 ANNUS MUNDI 6295 (SEPTEMBER 1, 802— AUGUST 31, 803) 

Roman Emperor Nikephoros: 9 years 
1. 18. 7. 19. 

In this year — the eleventh indiction — on October 31 at the fourth 
hour of the night, while Monday was drawing toward dawn, Nike- 
phoros the patrician and minister of public finances rebelled against 
the pious Irene. By His ineffable judgment, God acquiesced in this 
because of the multitude of our sins. The treacherous, oathbreaking 
Triphyllioi — the patrician and domesticus of the scholae Niketas and 
his brother the patrician Sisinnios — worked with Nikephoros. Also 
with them were the patrician Leo Serantopekhos, the patrician Greg- 
ory son of Mousoulakios, Theoktistos the patrician and quaestor, and 
the patrician Peter; they also beguiled some of the officers of the 
imperial guards. 

When they came to the Bronze Gate, all at once they tricked the 
guards, whom they falsely convinced that Irene had sent them to 
proclaim Nikephoros Emperor because Aetios was going to force her 
to name his brother Leo Emperor. The guards swallowed this huge lie, 
and acclaimed the tyrant as Emperor. This is how these patricians went 
to the great palace and got inside. From there they sent obscure men 
and slaves all through the city to make the acclamation. They also 
surrounded with guards the monastery of Eleutherios, where Irene 
happened to be. 

At dawn they summoned Irene and imprisoned her in the great 
palace. Then they went on to the great church to crown the sinner. All 
the city masses went with them but, because of what had been done, 
everyone was upset and unable to stand the crowner, the man who was 
crowned, or those who rejoiced with them. Those who had spent their 
lives in piety and reason marveled at the divine judgment: that He had 
allowed her (who had struggled for the true faith in martyr’s fashion) 
to be ousted by a swineherd because her friends joined him out of love 

477 of money (I mean the eunuch patrician Leo the sakellarios of Sinope, 

the God-detested Triphyllioi, and the patricians mentioned above). 
She had enriched them with huge gifts and often had eaten with them. 
By flattery and oaths they had persuaded her to believe their good will 
towards her was more compelling than all the world’s terrible affairs. 

As if beside themselves, others could not grasp the reality of what 
had happened, and thought they were dreaming. Still others, knowing 
full well what was toward, blessed the good days which had passed and 
mourned the misfortune which, because of the tyrant, would come in 
the future. This was especially true of members of his wicked party, 
who had formerly favored everything he did. A common, unsum- 
moned gloom and depression settled on everyone, so that I would be 
tedious were I to prolong the story, and will not write bit by bit the 
graceless account of this pitiful day. The weather was quite unnaturally 
sullen, dark, and persistently chilly during autumn, which clearly fore- 
shadowed Nikephoros’ future intractability and impatience, especially 
to those who had chosen him. 

On the next day he went with some patricians to the imprisoned 
Empress. As he usually did, he falsely played the role of an honest man, 
by which means he had tricked the masses. His justification of himself 
to her was that he had been elevated to the rule against his will and 
had no appetite for it, but had been raised by men who had advanced 
him and betrayed her, just as the betrayer Judas had treated the Lord 
after the Last Supper. He bore witness that they imitated Judas in every 

He secretly showed her that, contrary to imperial custom, he was 
wearing black sandals, 279 and maintained that he was pleased to do so. 
With oaths he treacherously encouraged her to enjoy the total tran- 
quility an Empress, as opposed to a slave, needed, and to believe there 
would be no disaster because she had been ousted. 

He advised her not to hide the imperial treasures from him, and 
condemned the disease of avarice although he could not bear to con- 
trol it. For this terribly afflicted the devourer of everything, who placed 
478 all his hopes in gold. The wise and God-loving Irene, although liable 
to be affected by her sudden change of status (as she was a woman), 
spoke with noble and intelligent purpose to the man who was yesterday 
an oathbreaking slave, but today a villainous revolutionary and reck- 
less tyrant: “I, sirrah, believe in God, Who, though formerly I was an 
orphan, raised and elevated me to the throne, although I am unworthy. 
I blame my destruction on my sins. I have always urged in every way 
the acclamation of the name of the Lord, the only Emperor of Emper- 
ors and Lord of Lords. Since I believe nothing comes to pass without 
Him, I yield to the Lord the means of your advancement. You are not 

279. See above, note 54. 






ignorant of the reports against you which were brought to me. They 
concerned the office you now possess, and were true, as the outcome 
of this affair reveals. If I had gone along with them, these reports would 
have had you executed without hindrance. But I was convinced by your 
oaths; I had mercy on you, and misled many men who meant me well, 
fo God, through Whom Emperors reign and dynasts rule the world, 
I give back what was once mine. Now I give you reverence as Emperor, 
as you are pious and have been chosen by Him. I implore you to have 
mercy on my weakness and suffer me to keep the monastery of Eleuth- 
erios (which I built) to guide my soul from its incomparable misfor- 

He said, If this is what you want for yourself, swear to me on the 
divine power that you will not hide any of the Empire’s treasures, and 
I will fulfill your request and furnish you with all aid and tranquility.” 

On the precious and lifegiving wood she swore to him, “I will not 
hide anything from you, not even an obol.” 280 This she carried out. 
But once he had gained what he longed for, he immediately exiled her 
to the nunnery she had built on the Prince’s Island. 

Charles legates were still in the city; they saw what was happen- 

Once he had seized power, this devourer of everything could not 
even briefly conceal by hypocrisy his innate evil and avarice. Rather, 
he established his own wicked, unjust court at Magnaura, on the pre- 
text of removing injustice. But, as events showed, the tyrant’s aim was 
not to give the poor justice, but through his court to dishonor and 
capture all the men in power and transfer to himself control of all 

He saw that everyone was dismayed at him, and grew fearful lest 
they should perchance recall the pious Irene’s benefactions and sum- 
mon her to rule once more. In November, after winter was firmly 
entrenched, the heartless man, taking no pity on her, exiled her to 
Lesbos. He ordered her securely imprisoned and, in general, seen by 

On April 30 Niketas Triphyllios died, killed (as they say) by Nike- 
phoros’ poison. 

On Thursday, May 4, Nikephoros went to the suburb of Chalce- 
don. 1 hough he was mounted on a well-trained, gentle horse, by 
divine providence it threw him, crushing his right foot. 

At the first hour of Wednesday, July 18, Bardanes (surnamed 
1 ourkos), the patrician and general of the theme of the Anatolies, was 
proclaimed Emperor by the thematic troops of the opposite shore. But 

280. A small coin of ancient Greece, worth a sixth of a drachma. Irene 
is saying she will keep nothing whatever from Nikephoros. 


although he harangued them at some length, he could not make them 
cross. He went to Chrysopolis and besieged it for eight days; when the 
city did not accept him, he withdrew to Malagina. He feared God and 
did not think he should be responsible for the slaughter of Christians, 
so he sent a message to Nikephoros and received a written guarantee 
from the Emperor’s own hand that he and all his men would not be 
harmed or liable to any penalty. The holy patriarch Tarasios and all 
the patricians also subscribed to it.. 

At midnight on September 8 Bardanes secretly ran away to the 
monastery of Herakleios in Bithynian Kios. He found one of the Em- 
peror’s warships which had been left behind, was tonsured, and as- 
sumed monastic garb. He boarded the ship and traveled to the island 
called Prote (on which was a monastery he had built), thinking Nike- 
phoros would respect the fearful pledge he had given him, and would 
480 not harm him. But Nikephoros first divested him of his property, then 
found an excuse to arrest all the officers and property-owners of the 
themes, as well as some from the imperial city. He let the whole army 
go unpaid. What tale could one tell worthy of the deeds he did at that 
time? They opposed God, but were permitted because of our sins. 

On August 9 of the eleventh indiction the Empress Irene died in 
her exile at Lesbos. Her body was moved to the nunnery she had built 
on the Prince’s Island. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6296 (SEPTEMBER 1, 803— AUGUST 31, 804) 

2 . 19 . 8 . 20 . 

In this year — the twelfth indiction — in December Nikephoros 
crowned his son Staurakios Emperor at the pulpit of the great church 
through the holy patriarch Tarasios. Staurakios made an Emperor 
impossible in all respects: in appearance, power, and will. 

Nikephoros, who never kept his word at all, sent some Lykaonians 
(or lycanthropes) of his will and spirit to Prote. While pretending 
ignorance, he ordered them to land there at night, blind Bardanes and, 
after that action, to flee to the church. After this was done, the patri- 
arch, the senate, and everyone who feared God was terribly distressed. 
The Emperor Nikephoros, that supreme lawbreaker who always did 
everything for show and nothing for God, demanded on oath that the 
officials slay the Lykaonians but, as it seems, only pretended to punish 

This sort of remarkable personality, through which he had de- 
ceived many before his reign, he shared with other lawbreakers. How- 
ever, his practice was quite laughable to those who were well ac- 
quainted with it, as his disgusting face always had to blush despite his 



shamelessness. He was unable to leave the imperial bedchamber for 
seven days because he kept on weeping; he was naturally given to 
effeminate tears. This gave rise to many bad and delusively good 
481 things, but did not escape the notice of the many. 

In August he sallied forth against the Arabs; when he met them 
at Krasos in Phrygia, he attacked but was defeated. He lost many men 
and was himself almost captured; he would have been if some of his 
more courageous officers had not barely been able to* rescue him from 
his distress. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6297 (SEPTEMBER 1, 804— AUGUST 31, 805) 

3. 20. 9. 21. 

In this year there was a rebellion in Persia; the Arabs’ caliph went 
off to make peace with the Persians. 

Nikephoros found an opportunity to rebuild Galatian Ankyra, 
Thebasa, and Andrasos. He also sent a raiding-party into Syria, but 
they withdrew without having accomplished anything; rather just the 
opposite — they lost many. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6298 (SEPTEMBER 1, 805— AUGUST 31, 806) 

Bishop of Constantinople Nikephoros: 9 years 

4. 21. 10. 1. 

In this year — the fourteenth indiction — Tarasios the holy patri- 
arch of Constantinople abandoned his notable life on February 18. 
His remains were carried out to the Bosporos, and on Wednesday of 
the first week of Lent were buried in the monastery he had built. On 
April 12, the great Sunday of Easter, the holy patriarch Nikephoros 
was chosen by vote of all the people and priests, and also of the 

However, Plato and Theodore, the abbots of the monastery of 
Stoudion, were not in sympathy with the appointment of Nikephoros; 
instead, they were strongly enough opposed to plan a schism. They 
had a fair reason: it was not proper for him to rise quickly and suddenly 
from lay status to a bishopric. The Emperor Nikephoros was upset and 
wanted to drive them from the city, although some men advised him 
that the choice of the patriarch was not a good one because of the 
abbots’ opposition and because of the prospective dissolution of such 
a great monastery (Theodore had mustered perhaps seven hundred 
monks). The patriarch Nikephoros’ sudden rise had not formerly been 
thought strange in the church; indeed, many others from the ranks of 


the laity had been consecrated to God and become bishops worthy of 
their station. 281 

482 In the same year I larun, the Arabs’ ruler, attacked Romania in the 
midst of a heavily armed force of 300,000 Black-cloaks, Syrians, Pales- 
tinians, and Libyans. When he came to Tyana, he built a home for his 
blasphemous faith. He besieged and took the very strong fortress of 
Heraklis, Thebasa, Sideropalos, and Andrasos. He sent out a raiding- 
party of 60,000 men which advanced all the way to Ankyra, but with- 
drew after examining it. 

The Emperor Nikephoros was terrified but impotent, and in de- 
spair sallied forth— which shows the intensity of his distress. After 
building many monuments to celebrate the enemy’s defeat, he sent to 
Harun the metropolitan of Synnada, Peter the abbot of Goulaion, and 
Gregory the administrator of Amastris to ask for peace. They nego- 
tiated for a long while and arranged a peace whose terms were that 
Harun would be paid at a rate of 30,000 nomismata per year — as well 
as three nomismata head-tax for the Emperor himself and three for his 
son. 282 Harun was more pleased and celebrated more over receiving 
these nomismata than he would have over 10,000 talents, as they were 
a token that he had subjected the Roman Empire. The negotiators also 
arranged that the fortresses the Arabs had taken would not be rebuilt. 
But after the Arabs retired, Nikephoros immediately rebuilt and for- 
tified these fortresses. When Harun learned this, he sent out a force 
which took Thebasa. He also sent a fleet to Cyprus, tore down its 
churches, and resettled the Cypriots. He broke the peace and did a 
great deal of damage. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6299 (SEPTEMBER 1, 806— AUGUST 31, 807) 

5 . 22 . 11 . 2 . 

In this year Nikephoros campaigned against the Bulgars. On 
reaching Adrianople, he sensed there was a rebellion brewing against 
him in the imperial retinue and the guard regiments. He returned 
without success and without having accomplished anything; not only 

281. In fact, the patriarch Nikephoros’ immediate predecessor Tarasios 
(patriarch 784-806) was himself a layman before his elevation. Half a century 
later the scholar Photios would be rushed through the ecclesiastical hierarchy 
in mere days to assume the patriarchate. His selection, however, would cause 
profound division within the Byzantine church and between it and Rome. 

282. This was a tax paid by Christian subjects of the caliph for the 
privilege of enjoying their faith in peace. Nikephoros’ payment of it to Harun 
ar-Rashid implied that he admitted he was Harun’s vassal, a humiliating con- 
cession for a Byzantine Emperor to make. 





did he punish the men of his party with beatings and exile, he also 
subjected many to confiscation. 

He sent out the spatharios Bardanios (surnamed Anemas), who 
crossed into Thrace and captured every traveler and sojourner. Nike- 
phoros thought he could acquire no small amount of gold from them 

483 as a yearly payment. He acted in this way because he loved gold, not 
God. 283 

ANNUS MUNDI 6300 (SEPTEMBER 1, 807— AUGUST 31, 808) 

6. 23. 12. 3. 

In this year — the first indiction — the Arabs’ ruler Harun sent a 
fleet under Khoumeid against Rhodes in September. However, the 
garrison on it survived without being overrun. On Khoumeid’s return 
it is plain he was overthrown by the miracle-working St. Nicholas. 
When Khoumeid came to Myra, he tried to break up the saint’s holy 
coffin, but instead broke another one lying nearby. At once a great 
tumult of wind, wave, thunder, and lightning overran his expedition 
and shivered a large number of ships to atoms. When the opponent 
of God, Khoumeid himself, acknowledged the power of the saint, he 
escaped from his danger, contrary to expectation. 

After a great deal of selection from the maidens from all the land 
under his dominion, on December 20 Nikephoros chose Theophano 
the Athenian, a relative of the blessed Irene, to marry his son Stau- 
rakios. She had been engaged to a man and had often slept with him, 
but Nikephoros separated her from him to marry her to the wretched 
Staurakios. He shamelessly broke the law in all matters — in this one as 
well. With Theophano he also chose two other girls more beautiful 
than she, then openly debauched them on the very wedding days; 
everyone laughed at the dirty man. 

In February many of the men in power, contemplating a rebellion 
against Nikephoros, chose Arsaber the patrician and quaestor, a pious, 
eloquent man. When the wily Nikephoros learned this, he beat and 
tonsured Arsaber and made him a monk, then exiled him to Bithynia. 
He subject the others to beatings, exile, and also confiscation: not only 
those who were leaders in wordly life, but also holy bishops, monks, 

484 and officials of the great church — the synkellos, the sakellarios, and the 
chartophylax. They were famous men who deserved respect. 

283. This is a slight mistranslation to preserve Theophanes’ wordplay. 
The literal rendering is “he loved gold, not Christ,” which is a play on words 
in the Greek. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6301 (SEPTEMBER 1, 808— AUGUST 31, 809) 

Arab ruler Muhammad: 4 years 
7. /. 13. 4. 

In this year — the second indiction — in March the Arabs’ ruler 
Harun died in inner Persia, which is known as Khorasan. His son 
Muhammad, who was altogether incompetent, succeeded to the rule. 
With his father’s forces his brother Abd Allah rebelled against him 
from Khorasan: this led to a civil war among their people. Thereupon 
the inhabitants of Syria, Egypt, and Libya divided up into different 
states and upset public affairs and each other. They were ruined by 
murders, robberies, and every kind of misdeed toward both them- 
selves and the Christians under them. It was then that the churches in 
the holy city of Christ our God were laid waste, as were the monasteries 
of the two great groups of eremitic monks 284 (Khariton and Kyriakos), 
that of St. Saba, and the remaining coenobitic communities of Sts. 
Euthymios and Theodosios. This slaughter, directed against each 
other and us, continued through five years of anarchy. 

Theodore the abbot of the monks of Stoudion, his brother Joseph 
the archbishop of Thessalonike, Plato the solitary monk, and their 
monks had broken from communion with the holy patriarch Tarasios 
because of his administrator Joseph, on the grounds that Joseph had 
illegally crowned Constantine and Theodote. The Emperor Nike- 
phoros seized the initiative, assembled many bishops and abbots, and 
ordered a synod convened against them. Through it they were ex- 
pelled from their monastery and from the city; they were sent into exile 
in January of the second indiction. 

In the same year the Bulgars fell on an army at the Strymon while 
485 it was being paid. They took away 1,100 pounds of gold and killed a 
great number of soldiers, including the army’s general and officers. 
Not a few regimental officers from the other themes were also present, 
and every one of them who was there was lost. 

Before the festival of Easter in the same year, the Bulgars’ ruler 
Krum marshalled his forces against Sardica and by treachery took it on 
terms. He slaughtered a Roman army of 6,000 — not to mention a host 
of private citizens. On the third day of the week of our Savior’s passion, 
Nikephoros moved out against him, but accomplished nothing worth 
mentioning. When the officers who had survived the massacre asked 
him to guarantee they would be granted safety, 285 he deemed this 

284. Eremitic monks, as opposed to their coenobitic brothers (see 
above, note 250) live as hermits and, though they may meet for meals and 
some prayers, do not form a true community; each monk goes his own way on 
most occasions. 

285. That is, that they would not be held responsible for Krum’s massacre. 





unworthy of himself, which forced them to flee to the enemy. Among 
them was the spatharios Eumathios, who had experience with engines. 
On top of his not having gathered much glory, Nikephoros was eager 
to convince the city with sacred oaths that he had celebrated the festi- 
val of Easter in Krum’s court. 

He wanted to rebuild the sacked Sardica but, afraid that his troops 
opposed this, 286 suggested to his generals and officers that they per- 
suade the mob to ask the Emperor to rebuild the town. But the troops 
understood this action had been suggested at his evil instigation, and 
for six hours rebelled against him and their own officers. They attacked 
them and ripped up their tents, and came all the way to the imperial 
tent, where they showered Nikephoros with insults and curses, swear- 
ing they could no longer tolerate his boundless avarice or his wicked, 
scheming mind. 

He was disheartened by the sudden insurrection, but clambered 
up onto a table. First of all, he tried to lull the army with oaths and 
persuasive speeches given by the patricians Nikephoros and Peter. The 
thrice-wretched soldiers, forgetting the matter at hand, went over to 
a hill and cried out, “Lord, have mercy!” as in an earthquake or 
drought. Nikephoros was ready for any evil action, and during the 
night he beguiled many of the officers with secret gifts. On the next 
day he went into the midst of the mob to talk with them. He assured 
486 them with frightful oaths that he was confident of success and that he 
loved them like his children. Then he went straight to the imperial city, 
letting the patrician and promoskrinios 287 Theodosios (surnamed 
Salibaras) examine the rebels through each other. At the host’s return, 
he pretended he would pay them, but near St. Mamas took vengeance 
on most of them with beatings, shearings, and exile. He transported 
the rest to Chrysopolis, trampling on his great fearful oaths. Because 
of this disaster they termed the Perama River a pyre. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6302 (SEPTEMBER 1, 809— AUGUST 31, 810) 

8. 2. 14. 5. 

In this year, after his disgusting withdrawal, Nikephoros aimed 
at humbling the army in every way. He removed Christians of every 
theme from their homes, compelling them to sell their property and 
come to the Sklavinias. This deed was nothing less than a taking of 
prisoners, and many blasphemers and evildoers senselessly asked for 
directions to the Sklavinias. Others mourned around their ancestral 
graves and blessed the dead. There were even those who hanged 

286. The army would have to do the work of reconstruction. 

287. Comptroller-general. 


themselves to deliver themselves from their dire straits, for, seeing 
destroyed the property which had been acquired by their ancestors’ 
labor, they could not bear the additional harsh move. All sorts of 
hardships befell everyone: the poor in these ways and those men- 
tioned next, while those who had an abundance suffered with them 
but could not help, as they were awaiting worse misfortunes. These 
measures were initiated in September and completed around holy 

Nikephoros ordered a second evil with this one: the poor were to 
be levied as soldiers and armed by the fellow citizens of their villages 
by means of paying a tax of 18 Vi nomismata. Each was responsible for 
the others’ taxes. 288 

Nikephoros’ third evil notion was that everyone should have their 
property resurveyed and their taxes increased; they had to pay two 
keratia 289 in clerks’ fees. 

Fourth, in addition to this he ordered all remissions restored. 290 

Fifth, he demanded hearth-taxes dating back to the first year of his 
tyranny paid by the peasant tenants of the pious houses, orphanages, 
487 hostels, and imperial monasteries. The greater part of their wealth was 
carried off to the imperial treasury. Moreover, the taxes on this were 
added to those due from the remaining property and peasant tenants 
of the pious houses, so that many had their taxes doubled. Their 
dwellings and lands were reduced. 

Sixth, men who suddenly acquired wealth were examined by the 
generals, 291 and money was demanded of them as if they had discov- 
ered treasure. 

Seventh, those who found wine-jars or vessels dating from twenty 
years before up to that time were taxed. 

Eighth, the poor who had divided up an inheritance from their 
grandparents or parents in that same twenty-year period had to make 
a payment to the fisc. 

Nikephoros also ordered those who bought household slaves out- 
side of Abydos 292 (and especially those doing so around the Dodeka- 
nese) to pay a two-nomisma tax. 

Ninth, shipmasters who lived near the sea (especially those of Asia 
Minor), men who had never lived by farming, were compelled, unwill- 

288. This extends the thematic system of military recruitment (see 
above, note 39) down to those peasants too poor for each to provide all his 
own equipment. 

289. Per nomisma, or 8 1/3 percent. 

290. See above, under annus mundi 6293. Irene’s tax remissions had 
badly damaged the finances of the state. 

291. Of the themes (see above, note 39). 

292. A chief customs center of the Empire (see above, note 278). 




ing or no, to buy the lands he had seized so he could tax them. 293 

Tenth, he assembled the principal shipmasters in Constantinople 
and loaned them twelve pounds of gold at an interest rate of four 
keratia per nomisma; 294 they also had to pay the usual commercia. 

I have recorded these small matters in a chapter from among 
many, as it were, in order to make plain his nature, which constantly 
schemed after every sort of profit. The terrible things done to the 
important, the middle-class, and those of few means in the imperial 
city are beyond recording. He tracked down some to make them live 
at home, and bore down on their evil slaves so he could bring charges 
against their masters. In the beginning he was hesitant about their 
testimony but, once he had made certain of their calumnies, he used 
people of no account in the same way against the notables. He honored 
and esteemed those who did a good job of slandering. He hurled many 
building-owners headlong from the first to the third class, in the hope 
that they might soon pass away so he could inherit. 

The following is worth mentioning by way of seasoning or exam- 
ple: at the Forum there was a candle-maker who lacked for nothing, 
488 thanks to his own labors. Summoning him, the devourer of everything 
said, “Would you put your hand on my head and swear to me how 
much gold you have?” For a little while the man begged off with the 
excuse that he was unworthy, but Nikephoros forced him to do this. 
He said he had a hundred pounds of gold. Nikephoros ordered it 
brought in to him within the hour, saying, “What need do you have 
for distraction? Have breakfast with me, take away a hundred nomis- 
mata, 295 and go away well-pleased.” 

ANNUS MUNDI 6303 (SEPTEMBER 1, 810— AUGUST 31, 811) 

9 . 3 . 15 . 6 . 

In this year Nikephoros stepped up his machinations against the 
Christians. There was godless supervision of the sale of every sort of 
horse, kine, and grain, and there were unjust confiscations and penal- 
ties against important people, as well as usury on shipping. The Em- 
peror promulgated a law forbidding anyone to practice usury, 296 and 
had tens of thousands of other evil devices. Relating them one by one 

293. Nikephoros is establishing these sailors as thematic troops, on the 
model of the thematic soldiery. 

294. A rate of 16 2/3 percent. 

295. Or one seventy-second of what the Emperor had taken from him. 

296. Unlike the case in the medieval west, where any lending at interest 
was forbidden to Christians, the Byzantines sensibly defined usury as lending 
money at an excessive rate of interest. Nikephoros is merely setting up money- 
lending as a state monopoly, so he can gain all the profit from it. 


is tedious for those who seek to learn about such matters, so they have 
been abridged. 

On Thursday, October 1, some nobody carrying a sword under 
monastic garb ran into the palace, seeking to kill Nikephoros. When 
two bystanders ran up and attacked him, he badly wounded them. He 
was arrested and severely punished, but used madness as a defense — 
he made no false accusations. Even while suffering, he swore on the 
cross that he was mad. Many thought this was a sign of great evil for 
both the rulers and those under their hand, just as it had been in the 
time of the impious Nestorios. 

Nikephoros was a fiery friend of the Manichaeans (now called 
Paulicians) and his near neighbors the Athinganoi 297 in Phrygia and 
Lykaonia. He took pleasure in their oracles and rites. Among such 
occasions was the time when the patrician Bardanios [sic] rebelled 
against him: Nikephoros summoned the Athinganoi and subjected 
Bardanios to their sorcery. In a pit he bound to an iron stake a bull 
with its head bent back to the ground, and had it killed while it was 
bellowing and writhing in this way. He put Bardanios’ clothing back- 
wards through a mill, winning his victory by the use of enchantments, 
since God conceded it because of the multitude of our sins. During his 
reign the heretics received land and carried on their business without 
fear; many of the more foolish folk were lost to their illegal doctrines. 

In Hexakonion there was a false hermit, Nicholas by name — he 
489 and his men blasphemed against the true faith and the revered icons, 
which Nikephoros also opposed. 298 Nikephoros dismayed the chief 
prelate and everyone who lived in a godly way, for he was often angry 
at them and made accusations against them. He was greatly pleased 
when they opposed each other and, since he was an upsetter of the 
divine commandments, jeered at every Christian who loved his neigh- 

Because of his ambition, he transferred trials (fair and unfair) for 
every Christian to the house of correction at Magnaura, so that no-one 
could cause a delay against his impiety. He ordered his soldiers to use 
the bishops and clergy like slaves; his men actually entered bishops’ 
residences and monasteries to consume their substance. He found 
fault with the gold and silver utensils which for ages had been stored 
up for God, and declared that the churches’ holy utensils were good 
enough to be shared — as Judas had with his Master’s sweet oil. 

He reproached all the previous Emperors on the grounds that 
they had lacked guidance, and in general he confuted their fore- 

297. A heretical Phrygian sect. 

298. This is untrue; Nikephoros, although certainly not a fanatical icono- 
phile, did not ban the use of images. 



thought and said there was no-one more powerful than the ruler, if the 
ruler wanted to rule skillfully. But he, who was killed by God, was 
deluded in his assessment of affairs. 

In February of the same fourth indiction (on the first Saturday of 
Lent), Leo the general of the Armeniacs met the Saracens at Eukhaita. 
They captured Eukhaita, as well as the thematic army’s wages and a 
large number of soldiers. But not even by this was Nikephoros shamed 
into halting his greed. The modern Ahab, more insatiable than Phala- 
ris or Midas, 299 did not learn from such signs. 

With his son Staurakios he drew up his men in battle array against 
the Bulgars, and on [date lost] of May left the imperial city. 

He ordered the patrician and public finance minister Niketas to 
increase public taxes on the churches and monasteries. Niketas was 
also to demand eight years of back taxes on the homes of Nikephoros’ 
officers. There was deep mourning. One of his intimate aides (I mean 
the patrician Theodosios Salibaras) objected, “Everyone is crying out 
against us, my lord, and at the time of trial everyone will exult in our 

Nikephoros said to him, “If God, Who hardens, has hardened my 
490 heart like Pharaoh’s, what good will come to the people under my 
hand? Theodosios, do not expect anything from Nikephoros save what 
you see.” Lord knows that I myself, he who is writing, heard that from 
Theodosios in his living voice. 

Nikephoros collected troops not only from Thrace, but also from 
the themes of the opposite shore; then he marched against the Bulgars. 
With the soldiers there were many poor men, armed with their own 
hunting-slings and clubs, as well as many blasphemers. Krum feared 
their numbers, and when they came to Markellai he asked for peace. 
But his own lack of good sense and the counsel of his advisors, who 
were of his opinion, prevented Nikephoros from making it. After much 
hesitation, the brave coward recklessly invaded Bulgaria through diffi- 
cult passes on July 20: it was the time of the destructive rise of the 
Dog. 300 He was continually saying, “Who will go forth and trick 
Ahab?” and answering, “Whether it is God or His Opponent, He will 
drag him away unwilling.” 

Before the invasion, his intimate body-servant Byzantios fled to 
Krum from Markellai after stealing the imperial regalia and a hundred 
pounds of gold. Many thought his flight augured ill for Nikephoros. 

299. Phalaris, in legend, built a hollow bronze bull, in which he roasted 
his opponents alive. Midas, granted a wish, asked that everything he touch turn 
to gold, a wish that, when granted, had predictably unfortunate results. 

300. The time when Sirius, the Dog Star, could be seen rising in the east 
at sunrise (see above, note 147). 



For three days after the first engagements, Nikephoros wrote that 
he successfully gained his glory not because of God (Who made the 
victory a success), but instead acclaimed only the good fortune and 
good advice of Staurakios. He threatened the officers who had hin- 
dered the invasion. He ordered horses still living (foals and beasts of 
all ages) mercilessly slain and let the dead bodies of his own men 
remain unburied, planning only to collect his spoils. He sealed and 
barred Krum’s treasures, making sure they would be his own there- 
after. He cut off the ears and other members of Christians who were 
plundering, and burned down the court of Krum. 

Greatly humbled, Krum told him, “Very well, you have con- 
quered. If anything pleases you, take it, and go in peace.” But peace’s 
enemy thought this unfitting. Thereupon Krum grew angry and took 
security precautions, sending messages to seal off the entrances and 
exits to his land with wooden fortifications. 

When Nikephoros learned this, all at once it was as if he was 
thunderstruck; he turned this way and that, at a loss as to what to do. 
He spoke of doom to the men with him: “Even if we grew wings, 
491 no-one could hope to escape ruin.” He had two more days for these 
contrivances: Thursday and Friday. Saturday night the tumult of 
armed men surrounded Nikephoros and his forces; when the Bulgar 
formations were heard, they unhinged everyone. Before day the bar- 
barians attacked the tents of Nikephoros and his magnates and pitifully 
slew them. 

Among the magnates were the patrician Aetios, the patrician 
Peter, the patrician Sisinnios Triphylles [sic], the patrician Theodosios 
Salibaras (who had distressed and maltreated the blessed Irene), the 
patrician prefect, the patrician Romanos (general of the Anatolic 
theme), many other protospatharioi and spatharioi, and the officers of 
the palace guards: the domesticus of the excubitores, the drungarius 
of the imperial watch, the general of Thrace, many officers of the 
thematic forces, and countless men. All the flower of the Christians was 
destroyed, as were all their arms and the imperial gear. God forbid 
even yet that Christians should know the charmless reports of that day, 
as it surpassed all mourning. These events took place on July 26 of the 
fourth indiction. 

Krum cut ofFNikephoros’ head and hung it on a pole for a number 
of days, as a display for the tribes coming to him and for our disgrace. 
Then he took it, bared the bone, coated it with silver on the outside 
and, while boasting over himself, made the Sklavinians’ leaders drink 
from it. 

Many widows and orphans were made in a single day, and there 
was unquenchable mourning, but the slaying of Nikephoros was a 
relief to many. Not one of the survivors gave exact details of his 





murder, for some say even the Christians were encouraged when he 
fell. His menials (the effeminate men with whom he had lain) died with 
him, some by fire at the palisade, others by the sword. Christians had 
never been more grievously unfortunate than during his reign. In his 
greed, his licentiousness, and his barbaric cruelty he outdid everyone 
492 who had ruled before him. It would be hard to believe and irksome for 
us fully to discuss his deeds one by one. However, as the saying goes, 
a robe is revealed in advance by its border. 301 

Nikephoros’ son Staurakios had been wounded in a vital spot: the 
right part of his back. He barely emerged from the battle alive, and 
reached Adrianople critically wounded. The patrician and domesticus 
of the scholae Stephen (and Theoktistos, who was there with him) 
proclaimed Staurakios Emperor. He spoke out against his own father 
to the surviving troops, who were very pleased. Michael the curopal- 
ates had survived unharmed, and was strongly urged by his friends to 
let himself be proclaimed Emperor, but would not agree becaus'e of his 
oaths to Nikephoros and Staurakios. The domesticus Stephen spoke 
against him from hope for Staurakios’ life, but the magistros Theoktis- 
tos agreed Michael should rule. 

Staurakios was bleeding violently and excessively in his urine, and 
the blood was dried on his thighs and legs when he came to Byzantium 
by litter. The patriarch Nikephoros, who was devoted to him, advised 
him to propitiate God and make amends for the greedy deeds his 
father had done. But he, the true heir to his father’s mind, told the 
patriarch he was unable to restore more than three talents. This was 
a small fraction of Nikephoros’ wrongdoing. Moreover, as he was 
anxiously seeing whether he would live, Staurakios even hesitated 
about this. 

As he had his father’s implacable will in a still greater form, he 
heaped dishonor on Theoktistos the magistros, Stephen, the domes- 
ticus, and Michael the curopalates. He also absolutely rejected his 
sister Prokopia, since she had plotted against him at the suggestion of 
Theophano the Augusta. That wretch, although she was childless, 
hoped presently to rule the Empire in imitation of the blessed Irene. 
When Staurakios saw he could not recover, he wanted the Empire 
made over to his wife, lest mob-rule agitate the Christians on top of 
the evils they had already received. Nikephoros the patriarch, Theok- 
tistos the magistros, Stephen the domesticus, and Michael the curopal- 
ates were dismayed at this, and from their great enmity became 
friendly with one another around the end of September of the fifth 

301. An interesting contrast to the English proverb, “You can’t tell a 
book by its cover.” 

493 On the evening of October 1 Staurakios summoned Stephen the 
domesticus to ask how he could bring his brother-in-law Michael from 
his house to blind him. Stephen said this was impossible at that time 
because of the force around Michael and his house’s secure location. 
Staurakios demanded that Stephen tell no-one what had been said. 
With plausible words, Stephen convinced him not to worry. 

Through the whole night Stephen assembled the surviving sol- 
diers of the imperial guards and friendly officers in the covered hippo- 
drome to proclaim Michael Emperor. At daybreak the whole senate 
went into the palace to proclaim Michael Emperor, as will be made 
clear next. The patriarch Nikephoros demanded of Michael a state- 
ment of the true faith written in his own hand, and that he keep his 
hands unstained with the blood of Christians, and also that he not beat 
holy men, monks, or any member of the whole ecclesiastical hierarchy. 

ANNUS MUNDI 6304 (SEPTEMBER 1, 811— AUGUST 31, 812) 
a.d. 804 

Roman Emperor Michael: 2 years: year 1 
Arab ruler Muhammad: 4 years: year 4 
Bishop of Rome Leo: 16 years: year 16 3 ° z 
Bishop of Constantinople Nikephoros: 9 years: year 7 

In this year — the fifth indiction — at the first hour of Friday, Octo- 
ber 1, the pious curopalates Michael was proclaimed Roman Emperor 
in the hippodrome by all the senate and the guard regiments. On 
hearing of Michael’s acclamation, Staurakios immediately tonsured 
himself and, through his relative the monk Symeon, put on a monastic 
cloak. He repeatedly called out for the patriarch, who came to the 
palace with the Emperor Michael and Staurakios’ sister. The patriarch 
urged him not to be distressed at what had happened, for it had not 
occurred due to a plot, but from despair for his life. Staurakios, how- 
ever, did not believe him. Raging with his inherited wickedness, he told 
the patriarch, “You will not find him a better friend than myself.” 

At the fourth hour of the day Michael was crowned by the patri- 
arch Nikephoros at the pulpit of the great church, at which time there 
was general rejoicing. Michael gave fifty pounds of gold to the patri- 
arch and twenty-five to the clergy. As he had a great soul and was not 
avaricious, he abated all the injustices caused by the Emperor Nike- 

494 phoros’ greed and gave gifts to the senate and army. On the twelfth 
of the same month Prokopia was crowned Augusta in the triklinos of 
the Augusteion, and was delighted to honor the senate with many gifts. 

302. See above, note 275. 




Michael gave five talents to the wives of the thematic soldiers killed in 
Bulgaria. He enriched Staurakios’ wife Theophano (who had become 
a nun) and her relatives, who had lived pitifully during the reign of 
Nikephoros. Among the riches provided her was a fine home known 
as the Hebraika, for use as a monastery. Staurakios was buried there. 
Michael enriched all the patricians, senators, prelates, priests, monks, 
soldiers, and poor people, as well as the inhabitants of the imperial city 
and the themes. Thus Nikephoros’ boundless avarice, because of 
which he had been foully destroyed, was obliterated in a few days. 

In addition to his many other fine habits, Michael was pious and 
orthodox. He was disturbed by those who had separated from the holy 
church on whatever pretext, reasonable or unreasonable. He continu- 
ally called on the most holy patriarch and the others to cooperate in 
a common peace. Among these men were Theodore the abbot, of 
Stoudion, Plato, and Theodore’s brother Joseph, the archbishop of 
Thessalonike, who with the leaders of their monastery had been held 
in bitter imprisonment. Michael was eager to unite them, and did so. 

Through his son Theophylaktos, he also sent messages to Charles 
the Emperor of the Franks concerning peace and reconciliation. 303 
The holy patriarch Nikephoros sent synodic letters to Leo the holy 
pope of Rome; before this he had been prevented from doing so by 
the Emperor Nikephoros. On Friday, December 25 of the fifth indic- 
tion, the gentle Michael crowned his son Theophylaktos Emperor 
at the pulpit of the great church through Nikephoros the patriarch. 
Michael brought rich ornaments for the holy altar: stuffs of gold en- 
crusted with precious stones, with ancient worked covers woven from 
gold and purple and adorned with marvelous holy icons. He also gave 
twenty-five pounds of gold to the patriarch and a hundred to the pious 
clergy; this made brilliant the holy festival and the proclamation of his 

495 Out of great zeal for God the most pious Emperor moved against 

the Manichaeans (now known as Paulicians) and Athinganoi in Phrygia 
and Lykaonia. At the behest of the holy patriarch Nikephoros and 
other pious men, he decreed them liable to capital punishment. How- 
ever, thanks to other, malignant, advisors he let the pretext of repent- 
ance mitigate this — those captured by this heresy cannot repent. These 
men ignorantly declared that their opinion was that the priests were 
not allowed to use capital punishment in their opposition to the impi- 
ous. In this matter they opposed the holy scriptures in every respect. 
For if Peter the prince of the apostles killed Ananias and Sappheira 
solely for lying, and the great Paul said with a shout, “Those who do 

303. The weakened state of the Byzantine Empire made this imperative 
(see above, note 277). 


such things deserve death” (which he said about bodily sin alone), how 
would not those who release from the sword men who are absolutely 
impure in spirit and body and who worship demons be enemies of 
theirs? But the pious Emperor Michael cut down not a few of these 

Staurakios was so terribly injured by the wound in his lower back 
that no-one could approach him because of the great stench. He died 
on January 11 of the fifth indiction, having reigned (as it were) two 
months and six days. 

On Saturday, May 14, there was a great solar eclipse for three and 
one half hours: from the eighth to the eleventh. 304 

On June 7 Michael moved out against the Bulgars; Prokopia ac- 
companied him as far as Tzouroulon. Krum the ruler of the Bulgars 
had taken Debeltos by siege and resettled its people (who went over 
to him) and their bishop. Because the Emperor’s evil counselors were 
massively ill-advised, the troops — especially those of the Thrakesian 
theme and that of the Opsikion — turned to plots and insults. Michael 
appeased them, silencing them by gifts and speeches. But when the 
496 Bulgars learned of the soldiers’ rebellion, that they feared battle, and 
that their garrisons were in disorder, the barbarians subjected more of 
Thrace and Macedonia. 

Then, though no-one pursued them, the Christians fled, giving up 
Ankhialos, Beroia, Nikaia, the fortress of Probaton, and some other 
strongholds; they did the same at Philippopolis and Philippi. The 
settlers who lived by the Strymon seized the excuse to flee back to their 
own lands. This was the wrath of God condemning Nikephoros’ mad- 
ness; because of it, what appeared to be his successes (over which he 
had boasted) rapidly crumbled. 

People stopped censuring the wicked doctrines of the presumptu- 
ous heresies which opposed God: the many Paulicians, Athinganoi, 
Iconoclasts, Tetraditoi, 305 and the rest of the lawbreakers (I am omit- 
ting reference to their adultery and whoredom, their licentiousness 
and greed). They wagged their tongues against the revered divine 
icons and against monastic garb. 

They blessed Constantine [V], abominable to God and thrice- 
wretched, because he had done very well against the Bulgars. Because 
of this, these wretches impiously said he was pious. Some of them in 
the imperial city prepared to overturn the orthodox faith after its 
ecumenical council. These men, maimed in spirit, wished the blind to 
rule: they wanted secretly to release by night the sons of God’s enemy 

304. This is precisely correct: Newton, op. cit., 546. 

305. Those who celebrated Easter on the fourteenth day of the paschal 
month, regardless of the day of the week. 




Constantine (who were imprisoned on the island of Panormos) and 
take them to the army. But the Lord put them to shame and roused 
Michael to avenge the truth. He discussed with the army the reason- 
able policy on the faith and, wisely taking into account the revolution- 
aries’ small numbers, terrified them with a few blows. He also exiled 
Constantine’s blind sons to Aphousia. 

He cut out the tongue of one false hermit out of those who were 
going around: one of Nicholas Hexakionites’ fellow wizards, who had 
scraped at and dishonored an icon of the wholly holy Mother of God. 
This man was dead both in spirit and body. Michael triumphed when 
497 the man’s partisan Nicholas was reported to have totally repented and 
fully confessed his evils. Michael committed him to a monastery so he 
would not remain his own master. The Emperor spoke to the troops 
in an audience at Magnaura, clarifying his pious mind s thoughts on 

Through Leo the general of the theme of the Anatolies he confis- 
cated the property of the Athinganoi and exiled them. 

In August of the fifth indiction Thabit campaigned against the 
Christians. Leo the general of the Anatolies won glory by engaging 
him; he killed 2,000 men and captured horses and weapons. 

Harun’s first son Muhammad, who was ruling his people, attacked 
his brother Abd Allah in the Persian interior but was defeated. He took 
refuge in Baghdad and ruled there. A different rebel held Damascus, 
and two divided up Egypt and Africa; yet another piratically plundered 

ANNUS MUNDI 6305 (SEPTEMBER 1, 812— AUGUST 31, 813) 
6305 . 805 . 2 . 17 . 8 . 306 

In this year the Bulgars’ ruler Krum sent a peace-embassy to 
the Emperor Michael in the person of Dargameros. He asked about 
the terms that had been arranged with Kormesios, lord of Bulgaria 
during the reign of Theodosios the Adramytinian and the patriarch 
Germanos. The contents of these were that the border marched 
from Thracian Meleonai, and the payment of clothing and scarlet- 
dyed skins worth a hundred pounds of gold. In addition to this, 
fugitives from each side were to be returned to it, even if they had 
conspired against the state. Those doing business in each of the two 
lands were regulated by seals and signets; the property of the seal- 
holders was not to be confiscated or registered in the public ac- 

306. The Arabs’ ruler disappears from the chronological scheme, pre- 
sumably thanks to the Abbasids’ civil war (in one manuscript, Muhammad 
[Al-Amin] is given a fifth regnal year). 


counts. Krum also threatened the Emperor: “Should you not be se- 
rious about peace, it will be by your decision that I marshal my 
forces against Mesembria.” 

When the Emperor received this communication, it was at the 
urging of his evil advisors that he did not accept peace. For with false 
498 piety (and, even more, out of stupidity and lack of care for public 
affairs) the evil advisors declared it was improper to return fugitives. 
They cited as witness the biblical statement of the Lord: “I should not 
cast out him who comes to Me.” 

In mid-October Krum marshalled his forces against Mesembria. 
He had siege-engines and helepoleis, of which he had learned thanks 
to the folly of Nikephoros the destroyer of Christians. For Nikephoros 
had enlisted an Arab who had come to him for baptism, and who was 
very experienced with engines. Nikephoros settled him at Adnanople, 
but gave him not a single benefaction or means of support to match 
his rank. Nay worse, he docked the Arab’s wages and beat him when 
he grumbled. Because of this the Arab grew desperate, fled to the 
Bulgars, and taught them all the requisite skills for siege-engines. 
Under these circumstances, Krum besieged Mesembria for a whole 
month and took it, as no-one opposed him. 

On November 1 the Emperor summoned the patriarch; he had 
come round and now accepted advice favoring peace. Also present 
were the metropolitans of Nikaia and Kyzikos, as well as the evil advis- 
ers and Theodore of Stoudion. The patriarch and the metropolitans 
espoused peace along with the Emperor, but the evil advisors upset it, 
declaring, “It is improper to choose peace, because it would overturn 
the divine commandment. For the Lord declared, “I should not cast 
out him who comes to Me.’ ” They neither knew what they were saying 
nor what they were making affirmations over. First of all, since no-one 
had fled from the Bulgars to us, we had abandoned our men within 
their court; we would have been able to save them by keeping the 
peace. Second, even if some very few men did flee, it would be more 
fitting to exert ourselves to save the many (who were also our fellows) 
than to gain profit by uncertain and obscure means. For it is more 
pleasing to God to save many rather than fewer. The punishment was 
very heavy over a small, foolish advantage. 307 

Because of his lack of foresight, Michael inclined toward his inti- 
mates and denied the faith according to Paul; he was adjudged worse 
499 than a man of no faith. How could these men say, “I kept the peace 
with men who hate it,” unless they were wiser than Paul and David? 
Who now is wiser than the thrice-blessed Germanos, except these evil 

307. It is interesting to note Theophanes here arguing from the point 
of expediency, rather than from Biblical precepts. 





advisers, these men who have prevented peace, who are in wicked in 
the conceit which will destroy their souls? 

As has been said, this took place on November 1. On the fourth 
of the same month a comet was seen shining in the shape of two little 
moons. They joined and once more separated, taking a different shape 
— the likeness of a headless man. On the next day the pitiful news of 
Mesembria’s destruction reached us, terrifying everyone because of 
our expectation of greater evils. The enemy had found'it full of settlers 
and merchants. 

The Bulgars took Mesembria and Debeltos as well, in which places 
they found thirty-six bronze siphons and not a little of the liquid hre 
shot through them, and also a great quantity of gold and silver. 

In the same year many Christian monks from Palestine and all 
Syria reached Cyprus, fleeing the boundless evil of the Arabs. For 
general anarchy had seized Syria, Egypt, Africa, and their entire em- 
pire: in villages and cities their people, cursed by God, murdered, 
robbed, committed adultery and acts of licentiousness, and did all 
sorts of things hateful to God. The revered sites of the holy resurrec- 
tion, the skull, 308 and others in the vicinity of the holy city were pro- 
faned. In the same way, the famous eremitic monasteries of Sts. Khari- 
ton and Saba in the desert, as well as other churches and monasteries, 
were devastated. Some men became martyrs; others got to Cyprus, and 
from it to Byzantium. The Emperor Michael and the holy patriarch 
Nikephoros kindly entertained them. Michael helped them in every 
way. He gave the men who entered the city a famous monastery, and 
sent a talent of gold to the monks and laymen still on Cyprus. 

500 Michael was totally honest and fair, but unfit to administer affairs; 

he was a slave to the magistros Theoktistos and the rest of the officers. 

When two Christians fled from Bulgaria in February, they in- 
formed the Emperor that Krum wanted to lay a sudden ambush against 
the troops in Thrace. On the fifteenth of the month the Emperor left 
the city; by divine providence Krum withdrew without success after 
losing not a few men. The Emperor reached Adrianople, set its affairs 
aright, and joyfully returned. He went to the holy Tarasios’ monastery 
and, with the Augusta Prokopia, celebrated his memorial rites. He 
clothed Tarasios’ grave with ninety-five pounds of silver. 

After the destruction of Mesembria the Emperor had refused 
Krum’s peace-overtures. He levied troops from all the themes and 
ordered them to cross into Thrace before spring, with the result that 
they were all unhappy, especially the Kappadokians and the Armeniac 
troops. When the Emperor sallied forth with the imperial guards in 
May, the Augusta Prokopia once more accompanied him to Akedouk- 

308. Golgotha. 

ton, which is near Herakleia. Displeased at this, the army insulted and 
swore at Michael. 

On May 4 the sun was eclipsed while rising; 309 according to the 
horoscope, it was in the twelfth degree of Taurus. The masses became 

The Emperor wandered about in Thrace with his generals and 
troops. He did not move on Mesembria, nor did he do any of the things 
necessary to destroy his enemies. Rather, he only obeyed the empty 
words of his counselors, who were inexperienced at war. They de- 
clared his enemy did not dare advance against him while he was en- 
camped in his own territory. 

The mob of our fellow citizens was harder to bear than a barbaric 
onslaught, as they lacked necessary supplies and were maltreating, 
robbing, and attacking the locals. Around the beginning ofjune, Krum 
the ruler of the Bulgars came forth with his armies, although he sus- 
pected the Christians’ numbers were very large. Leo the patrician and 
501 general of the Anatolies and John Aplakes the patrician and general of 
Macedonia camped about thirty miles from the imperial frontier. They 
were eager to attack Krum’s men, but the Emperor, thanks to his evil 
advisors, stopped them. 

While the city was praying with its chief prelate in the church of 
the Holy Apostles, some impious followers of the heresy of Constan- 
tine [V] (who was abominable to God) pried open the door to the 
imperial tombs. 310 While no-one was paying any attention to them 
because of the crowd’s anguish, they suddenly opened the door with 
a crash, as if by a divine miracle. Rushing inside, they fell at the feet 
of the heretic’s remains and called on him, not on God, saying, “Arise 
and help the state, which is being destroyed.” They put it about that 
Constantine, who dwells in Tartaros with the demons, rose up on 
horseback and went off to attack the Bulgars. 

The city prefect arrested them; at first they falsely stated the doors 
had been opened of their own accord by God. But while they were still 
standing before the prefect’s tribunal, before they had been tortured 
at all, they told of how they had pried them open. The prefect properly 
removed them and sent them round in a public parade, while they 
cried out the reason for their punishment. 

The diabolical inventor of evil had so thoroughly indoctrinated 
his soldiers that they did not accuse themselves of sin, but rather the 
orthodox faith (which has been handed down from the Fathers) and 
the monks’ holy garb (the training ground for God’s philosophy). 
Many of those who blasphemed like this were Christians only in ap- 

309. This is also precisely correct: Newton, op. cit., 547. 

310. Most Emperors were interred in the church of the Holy Apostles. 





pearance, but Paulicians in fact. They were not able openly to display 
their loathsome doctrines, but contaminated the unlearned with this 
pretext: they blessed the Jewish-minded 311 Constantine as a prophet 
and conqueror, and blessed his evil doctrine too. This was so they 
could overturn the incarnate dispensation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

On June 22 Christians and Bulgars mustered not far from 
Adrianople. In the battle the Christians failed badly, terribly. The 
enemy was so overwhelmingly victorious that most of the Christians 
did not even see their first assault, but incontinently fled. Krum, 
amazed, thought this happened in order to set an ambush, and 
checked his men in their pursuit after a short distance. But when he 
saw the Romans definitely had fled, he pursued and killed a great 
502 many. His men also overran the Romans’ baggage-train and took it 
away as booty. 

The Emperor fled back to the city cursing his host; nay more, he 
was swearing he would abdicate. Among the men to whom he com- 
municated this was the patrician Leo the general of the Anatolies, since 
he was pious, 312 brave, and had totally supported Michael’s ruling the 
Empire. Although Michael did not altogether abdicate, he did allow 
Leo to command the thematic forces. Michael himself returned to the 
imperial city on June 24. He wanted to put aside his power and choose 
someone else; however, his wife and those who had great influence on 
him did not permit this. But the holy patriarch consented to it, as long 
as Michael and his children would be kept safe if someone else were 

When the soldiers and troops learned the Emperor had fled to the 
city they refused to be ruled by him any more. They took counsel 
among themselves and entreated the patrician Leo the general of the 

311. Jews, of course, were forbidden graven images. The prohibitions 
of Deuteronomy had had a heavy influence on Leo Ill’s opposition to the use 
of icons in Christian worship. The iconoclasm of Constantine V was much 
more theologically sophisticated, and closely related to earlier debates over 
the relationship of Christ’s humanity and divinity. Constantine’s argument was 
that any representation of Christ was either Nestorian in its separation of His 
humanity from His divinity, or monophysite in attempting to depict what was 
in fact a wholly transcendant and unrepresentable Godhead. The iconophile 
answer to this attack was to remark that Christ was in fact both human and 
divine, and that to say His humanity was incapable of being shown was to deny 
the reality of the incarnation. Further, to the iconophiles, contemplation of the 
images of Christ and the saints would lead worshipers to emulation of the 
prototypes’ virtues. 

312. Leo the general of the Anatolies, who became Emperor as Leo V 
(8 1 3-820), restored iconoclasm in 8 1 5. Theophanes must have first composed 
this passage before that restoration (see above, note 208, and introduction, pp. 
xi-xii) . 


Anatolies to help the state by laying claim to government over the 
Christians. For a certain length of time he tried hard to delay them, 
looking for the proper moment because the irresistible barbarian at- 
tacks boded ill. He also kept faith with and did not plot against the 
rulers. But when he saw the army putting heavy pressure on the city, 
he wrote to the patriarch Nikephoros, strongly reassuring the patriarch 
of his orthodoxy and asking to take power with Nikephoros’ prayers 
and assent. 

When with his generals and soldiers he reached the tribunal in 
front of the city, he was shown to be a legal Roman Emperor. He 
entered Constantinople through the Charisian gate and came to the 
palace. On hearing of Leo’s acclamation, Michael ran to the church of 
Pharos with Prokopia and their children. They were tonsured and 
assumed monastic garb on Monday, July 1 1 of the sixth indiction. On 
the next day the patriarch Nikephoros crowned Leo at the pulpit of the 
great church. 

503 He ordered the area round the city fortified, and went about the 
walls night and day, urging everyone on and encouraging them to be 
of good cheer, as God would soon accomplish the unexpected at the 
intercession of his wholly immaculate Mother and all the saints, and 
would not allow us to be entirely disgraced by our numerous misfor- 
tune^. Krum the new Sennacherib 313 had grown confident at his vic- 
tory. He left his brother behind to besiege Adrianople with his own 
forces; six days after Leo had become autokrator, Krum attacked the 
imperial city in the midst of his forces and horses. 

He paraded before the walls from Blakhernai to the Golden Gate, 
and made plain his might. He celebrated bloody, demonic sacrifices in 
the small stream that flowed from the Golden Gate to the sea, and 
demanded that the Emperor fix his spear on the Golden Gate. 314 Since 
Leo would not agree to this, Krum returned to his own tent. He was 
marveling at the city’s walls and the Emperor’s well-ordered battle- 
lines, and when he despaired of the siege for which he had had hopes, 
he made a truce and began peace talks. 

The Emperor took the opportunity to try to ambush him. But 
because of our numerous sins he could not bring it off, as his servants 
were not suitable for erecting such a monument to their enemy’s 
defeat. They wounded Krum, but could not deliver a mortal thrust. 
The accursed wretch was furious at the attempted ambush; he sent a 

313. Sennacherib (king of Assyria 704-681 b.c.) attacked the kingdom 
of Judah, and was only prevented from capturing Jerusalem by the payment 
of exorbitant tribute. He then marched south to attack Egypt, but a plague 
which fell on his army forced him to withdraw. 

314. As a sign of the Bulgar lord’s triumph. 



raiding-party to St. Mamas and burnt down the palace there. He 
loaded the bronze lion from its hippodrome, the bear, the water- 
spouting dragon, and selected marbles into wagons, then withdrew. 
He took Adrianople, which had been under siege. 



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Krumbacher, Karl, Geschichte der byzantinischen Literatur von Jus- 
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volumes (Munich, 1897). 

Lilie, Ralf-Johannes, Die byzantinische Reaktion auf die Ausbreitung 
der Araber: Studien zur Strukturwandlung des byzantinischen Staates im 
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Mango, Cyril, Byzantium: The Empire of New Rome (New York, 

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Moravcsik, Gyula, Byzantinoturcica, second edition, 2 volumes 
(Berlin, 1958). 

Newton, Robert R., Medieval Chronicles and the Rotation of the Earth 
(Baltimore, 1972). 

Ostrogorsky, George, “Die Chronologie des Theophanes im 7. 
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| NOTE: Names of persons are indexed wherever they occur, whether in the text 

j or in the chronological lists accompanying many anni mundi. Names of peoples 

j and cities (e.g., Arab, Constantinople) are only indexed in the text proper, not 

in the chronological lists, as their appearance in the latter entries has no 
independent historical significance. Persons possessing surnames are indexed 
by surnames (e.g., Michael Lakhanodrakon is indexed as Lakhanodrakon, 

Abas, 74, 79 
Abasbali, 136 
Abasgia, 85-86 
Abasgians, 18-19, 85-86 
Abbas, 111 
Abd al-Kabir, 141 
Abd Allah (Arab general), 69 
Abd Allah (brother of Abu-1- Abbas), 
115, 117-19, 122, 124-25, 127, 

131. 133 . 136 

Abd Allah (son of Ali), 114, 117, 


Abd Allah (son of Harun), 165, 176 
Abd Allah (son of Qais), 53 
Abd Allah (son of Zubayr), 59, 

Abd al-Malik, 59, 61-65, 69. 7 1 
Abd ar-Rahman (Arab general 
killed by Franks), 95 
Abd ar-Rahman (rebel in Persia), 


Abd ar-Rahman (son of Khalid), 48 

Abraham, 34 

Abramaion, 131 

Abroleba, 153 

Abu Bakr, 34-37 

Abu-l-Abbas, 114, 117 

Abu ’1-Awar, 45 

Abu Malik, 155-56 

Abu Muslim, 114-15, 117-18 

Abydos, 9, 62, 88, 96, 109, 123, 
157, 167 
Adam, 104 
Adana, 20 
Adraiga, 22 
Adramytdon, 81, 176 
Adrianople (Asia Minor), 50 
Adrianople (Thrace), 163, 172, 
177-78, 180, 182 
Adriatic Sea, 101 
Aegean Sea, 91 
Aetios, 150, 156-58, 171 
Africa, 6-8, 33, 43, 51, 67-68, 89, 
94, 103, 115, 121, 133, 135, 
141, 176, 178 
Africans, 42-43 
Agallianos, 97 

Agarenes, 54, 64, 81-82, 113. See 
also Arabs; Saracens 
Agathon (pope), 33 
Agrikolaos, 139 
Ahab, 127, 170 
Akameros, 156 
Akedoukton, 178-79 
Akhelon, 126 

Akkubita, tribunal of the nineteen, 
92, 100, 131, 136 
Akromos, 84, 103 
Alania, 85-87 
Alans, 85-86 




Albania, 17-18, 62 
Alexandria, 2, 8, 11, 26, 32, 38, 80, 
107, 113, 117, 123, 145 
Alexandrians, 104 
Al-Fadal Badinar, 133 
Ali (Abbasid leader), 114-15 
Ali (nephew of Ali), 45-46; called 
“the Persian,” 47 
Amalek, 34 
Amastris, 72, 163 
Amida, 20 
Amnesia, 49 
Amnia, 147 
Amorians, 82 

Amorion, 50, 82-84, 106, 138, 150, 
Amr, 97 
Ananias, 174 

Anargyroi, church of the, 77 
Anastasia, 65, 77 
Anastasioi, the, 46, 50 
Anastasios II. See Artemios 
Anastasios (count of sacred largess), 

Anastasios (metropolitan), 121 
Anastasios (patriarch of Antioch), 1, 

Anastasios (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 61, 99^-101, 
105-6, 108, 111, 116-17, 147 
Anatolies, Anatolic theme, 51, 66, 
81-82, 88, 106, 108, 128, 132, 
138, 147, 153, 157, 160, 171, 
176, 179-81 
Andrasos, 162-63 
Andrew (cubicularius), 48-50 
Andrew (metropolitan of Crete), 60, 

Andrew, son of Troilos, 50-51 
Andrew (spatharios), 107 
Andronikos, 152 
Anemas, Bardanios, 164 
Ankhialos, 73, 122, 143, 175 
Ankyra, 13, 162-63 
Anna, 81, 88, 105 
Anousan, 152 

Antelope (Herakleios’ horse), 24 
Anthemios, suburb of, 88 
Anthimos (son of Constantine V), 

136-37. 140. 151. l 5 ®> 175-76 

Anthrax, Niketas, 92 
Antilebanon, 109 
Antioch, 7, 9, 31, 40, 107, 111, 
115-17, 119, 123-24, 145-46 

Antioch, Pisidian, 79 ! 

Antiochenes, 117 i 

Antiokhos (chartophylax) , 78 
Antiokhos (general of Sicily), 

126 5 

Antipatris, 116 i 

Antonius (domesticus of the 

scholae), 130, 142 ij 

Antonius (patriarch of | 

Constantinople), 61 : 

Apamea, g, 48, 78, 123 
Aphousia, 176 
Aplakes, John, 179 

Apollonias, 148 ij 

Apostrophoi, 91 | 

Apsilia, 85-86, 88 : 

Apsilians, 87 j 

Apsimaros (Tiberius III), 60, 68-72, > 

77, 117 

Arabia, 38, 45, 63, 114, 116 
Arabia Felix, 107 
Arabia (Roman province), 37 
Arabic, 73 

Arabissos, 49 | 

Arab(s), 30, 34, 36-38, 40, 44-47. 

49-50, 52-54, 59- 61, 63-64, 

67-71. 74- 79-6°. 82-83, 

88-91, 93-94, 98, 101, 103, I 

105-7, 10 9> 112-14, 116-17, 

120, 124, 127, 133-34, 136, 
i3 8 -39, i4i-43, 145-47, 

149-50, !5 2 -54, 162-65, 

177-78. See also Agarenes; 

Arados, 43 
Aram, son of, 28 
Ardaser, 30 
Arkadiopolis, 135 
Arkadios, 103 
Arkhaiopolis, 86 

Armenia, 6, 14-16, 18, 44, 61-62, 

64, 66, 69-70, 78, 98, 109, 

123, 132 

Armeniacs, Armeniac theme, 28, 48, 

81, 88, 108, 120, 132, 138-40, 

147, 149-5 2 , *70, 178 
Armenian(s), 25, 38, 44, 51, 70, 78, 

81, 86-87, 98, 102, 108, 116, 

118, 138, 152 
Arsaber, 164 
Artake, church of, 9 
Artana, 122 

Artavasdos (aide to Athanasios), 



Artavasdos (general of the Anatolies 
under Leo IV), 138 
Artavasdos (rebel against 

Constantine V), 81, 88, 97, 
99-100, 105-8, no 
Artemios (Anastasios II), 79-82, 88, 

Arxamoun, 3 
Asad, 35 

Asia, 84, 88, 102-3, i°8, 128, 142 

Asia Minor, 96, 167 

Askemites, Stephen, 74 

Asparukh, 56 

Assada, 70 

Astulph, 94 

Atel River, 55 

Ateous, 98 

Athanasios (Jacobite patriarch), 


Athanasios (silentarius), 106, 109 
Athens, 132, 156 
Athinganoi, 169, 174-76 
Atroa, 150 
Attaleia, bay of, 149 
Attalid gate, 103 
Augustal perfect, 2, 38 
Augusteion, 11, 91, 132, 173 
Automatists, 115 
Avars, 3, 10, 12-13, 22, 23, 54, 
56-57, 128. See also Huns 
Azar, 70 

Azid, son of Khounei, 70 

Baanes (general under Herakleios), 
23, 37-38 

Baanes Heptadaimon, 69 
Baghdad, 176 
Bakr, 82 
Baktangios, 1 10 
Balgitzin, 70 
Banes, 142 
Barasroth, 25 
Barbalissos, 46 

Bardanes (general of Armeniacs), 

Bardanes (patrician under 

Constantine V; may be the 
same man as the preceding), 

Bardanes Philippikos, 60, 69, 
75-79, 81, 88 
Bardanesios River, 37 
Bardanios, Bardanes, 153, 156 
Bardas, 140, 151 

Barisbakourios, 70-71, 76-77 
Barmak, 142 
Barsamouses, 24 
Barzan, 28 
Basra, 1 2 1 
Basrathon, 122 
Batbaian, 55-56 
Battal, 103 
Bebdark, 26 
Beklal, 25 
Belzetia, 156 
Benjamin, 30 
Bergaba, 57, 120 
Beroia (Palestine), 120 
Beroia (Thrace), 143, 175. See also 
Bersinikia, 153 
Berzilia, 56 
Berzitia, 134 
Beser, 93, 97, 105, 126 
Bessos, Mauros, 74, 76-77 
Bilios, 1 

Bithynia, 89, 97, 104, 146, 161, 


Black-cloaks, 114, 116, 117, 119, 

121, 138, 142, 163 
Black Sea, 14, 55-57, 122-23 
Blakhernai, 9, 11, 36, 68, 71, 76, 

81, 117, 121, 152, 181 
Blues, 66. See also Greens 
Boi'las, Constantine, 156 
Bonosos, 7, 13 
Borane, 30 
Bosporans, 74 
Bosporos, 88, 123, 162 
Bosporos, Cimmerian, 55, 70. See 
also Cherson 
Bostra, 37 
Boukania, 62 
Bouraphos, George, 79 
Bronze gate (of the palace), 92, 97, 
137, 158 
Bryas, 89 

Bucinator, sons of, 45 
Bukellarii, theme of, 128, 132, 142, 

Bulgaria, 55-56, 62, 71, 119-20, 
122-23, 125, 133-35, 150-51, 
153, 170, 174, 176, 178 
Bulgar(s), 22, 55-57, 62, 71, 73, 78, 
85, 90, 92, 119-20, 122, 

125-26, 134-35, !37> 148, i5‘, 
153, 163, 165, 170-71, 175-80 
Busr, 44, 48, 52 



Byzakion, 33 

Byzantines, 47, 50, 97, 157 
Byzantios, 170 

Byzantium, 2-3, 15, 20, 25, 27, 100, 
112, 130, 172, 178 . See also 

Caesarea (Kappadokia), 10, 44-45. 

96 ■ s 

Caesarea (Palestine), 34, 37, 4 1 
Caesarium (at Constantinople), 52 
Caesarium (Mesopotamian city), 46 
Calabria, 90, 101, 104, 112 
Camp of the Tribunal, 1 
Carloman, 95 

Carthage, 11-12, 68. See also 

Caspian Gates, 22, 101, 109, 

123-24. See also Iberian Gates 
Castellus, 43 

Caucasus mountains, 44, 55. 85-87 
Chalcedon, 6, 11-12, 22-23, 25, 27, 
30, 109, 160. See also Carthage 
Chalcedon, council of, 31-32 
Charisian gate, 71, 181 
Charles (Frankish king, Holy 
Roman Emperor), 95, 141, 
147 - 4 8 . x 55 > 157 - 5 8 . l6o > J 74 
Charsianesian gate, 109 
Cherson, 33, 50, 67, 70-71, 74-76, 
137. See also Bosporos; 
Chersonites, 74, 76 
Christianity, 101, 125 
Christianos, 125 
Christian(s), 7, 11, 16, 21, 30, 

34 - 3 6 . 52 , 54 . 56 - 57 . 64, 67, 

73, 83, 91-93, 98, 101, 104-5, 
107, 109, tit, 116, 119, 128, 
13°. 1 33 - 35 > ! 39 > ! 45 > l6 i, 
165-66, 168-69, 171-73. 


Christians, Empire ol, 90 
Christopher (son of Constantine V), 
131, 137, 140, 151, 156, 

175_76 , . , , 
Christopher (spathanos), 12b 

Christopher (turmarch), 75-76 
Chrysokheres, 151 
Chrysopolis, 4, 51, 81, 84, 110, 

123, 142, 155, 161, 166 
Chrysorrhoas, John. See John of 

city, the. See Constantinople 
“commercia,” 157, 167 
Constans II, 33, 4 1 “ 5 1 
Constantia (Cyprus), 43 
Constantia (Mesopotamia), 40. See 
also Constantina (city) 
Constantina (city), 2 
Constantina (empress), 1, 3-5 
Constantine I (“the* great”), 97, 103 
Constantine III (Herakleios 

Constantine), 10, 12-13, 27, 

3 °. S 3 . 35-36, 41 
Constantine IV, 47-60, 62 
Constantine V, 91-92, 99 “* 12, 

115—36, 139-4°. 146, 151, 1 56, 
175-76, 179-80 

Constantine VI, 127, 132, 136-37, 
i 39 - 4 i> ! 43 > 1 47 - 55 , l6 5 

Constantine Ardaser, 151 
Constantine (chartophylax) , 155 
Constantine (groom of Artavasdos), 

Constantine (nephew of patriarch 

Constantine), 129 
Constantine (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 61, 117, 
123-27, 129-30, 147 
Constantine (pope), 122, 124 
Constantine (son of Herakleios by 
Martina), 11-12. See also 

Constantine (spatharios and 
domesticus), 140 
Constantinople, 7-9, 13, 16, 22, 

29-33, 37 , 4 1 , 44 - 45 , 47 - 
50-52, 57-58, 60-61, 66, 68, 
71, 73, 76, 78, 80-82, 88-90, 
92, 97—98, 100, 103-4, 106, 
108-10, 113, 117, 119, 122-23, 
125, 128-32, 134, 136, 139, 
143 , 145 - 47 , 150, 152 - 55 , 161, 
165-66, 168, 170, 178-81. See 
also Byzantium 

Constantinople, third council of, 
57-60, 77-78 
Corinthians, 144 
Crete, 53, 61, 68, 78, 104, 153 
Ctesiphon, 25-28 
Cyclades islands, theme of, 97 
Cypriot(s), 63, 108, 139, 163 
Cyprus, 43, 61, 63, 113,1 17, 
132 - 33 , H 9 > l6 3 . j 7 8 
Cvrus (bishop of Phasis and 




Alexandria), 31-33, 37 - 4 1 , 10 7 
I Cyrus (patriarch of Constantinople), 

60, 72-73, 78 

I Dabekon, 121, 138 

| Dahhaq (Kharijite), 1 1 1-12 

■] Dahhaq (killed by Abd al-Malik), 59 

Dalmatos, Delmatos, monastery of, 

I 68, 130 

) Damascenes, 112 

I Damascus, 11, 37-38, 43-44, 47 ~ 49 > 

59, 62, 73, 100, 103, 107, 109, 

1 112, 115, 117. ! 39 , J 7 6 

Damaskenos, 103 
Damatrys, 76-77, 125 
Damianos, 148 
| Daniel, 39 

Daniel of Sinope, 80 
Danube River, 22, 56-57, 71, 12 3 > 
i 133 

j ' Daphne (bath-house at Syracuse), 

50-5 1 

Daphne (in Constantinople), 132 
Daphnousia, 123 
Daras (Mesopotamia), 4, 27, 40 
j Daras (near Cherson), 70 

I Darenos, 142 

I Dargameros, 176 

j Dastigerd, Dastagerd, 17, 25-28 

| Dathesmos, 34 

David (Biblical king), 177 

David (chartophylax), 6 

David (son of Herakleios), 35 
David (spatharios), 126 
\ Debeltos, 175, 178 

| Dezerida, 25 

Diocletian, 135 
Diogenes, 147 
Dios, monastery of, 130 
Dnieper River, 56, 71, 123 
Dniester River, 56, 71, 123 
j Dodekanese, 140, 167 

j Dog, rise of, 170 

Domentzia, 5 
Domentziolos, 2-3, 9 
Don River, 55 
Dorotheos, 155 
j Dorylaion, 105, 138 

J Doulikhia, 112 

Edessa, 2-3, 9, 26, 29-30, 37, 40, 
;j 44, 50, 54 , 96, ‘03, i° 9 > 111 

i Edessans, 112 

“Edict” of Herakleios, 32 
Egypt, 11, 34-35, 38-4°, 46, 5 2 > 

89, 109, 114, 165, 176, 178 
Egyptians, 89, 104 
Ekhim, 114 

Eleutherios, monastery of, 158, 160 
Eleutherios, palace of, 150, 154 
Elissaios, 141 

Elpidios (commander of the 
arsenal), 8 
Elpidios (deacon), 2 
Elpidios (executed by Phokas), 5 
Elpidios (general of Sicily), 140-41 
Emesa, 37-38, 48, 111-12, 116, 

118, 120, 139 

Empire. See Roman Empire 
Ephesos, 117, 132, 152 
Epicureans, 115 
Epiphaneia (city), 123 
Epiphaneia (daughter of 
Herakleios), 9-10 

Epiphaneia (mother of Herakleios), 


Eridanos River, 94 
Erythro, 141, 147 
Ethiopia, 1 1 

Ethiopian (executioner), 1 1 1 
Ethrib, 35. See also Medina 
Eudokia (wife of Constantine V), 

130 - 3 1 

Eudokia (wife of Herakleios), 9-10 
Eudokimos (son of Constantine V), 

136-37, 140, 151, 156, 175-76 
Eukhaita, 170 
Eumathios, 166 
Euphemia, 127 

Euphrates River, 6, 20, 39-4°, 46 
Europe, 1 15 

Eustathios (son of Marianos), 103, 
i °5 

Eustathios the Neapolitan, 30 
Eutropios, mole of, 5 
Eutropios, suburb of, 88 

Fatima, son of, 122 
Florus, 53 

Florus, monastery of, 66, 143 
Forum, 67, 117, 168 
Forum of the Ox, 9, 67 
Frankish lands, 94 
Franks, 94-95, 14 1 , i 47 - 48 > i 55 > 
157, i 74 

Fudhala, 48-51, 53 
19 1 



Gabitha, 34, 37 

Gabriel (archangel), 35 

Galata, 88-89, 12 3 

Galatia, 6, 13, 27, 79, 155, 162 

Garis, 74, 109 

“Gates,” 13, 89 

Gaza, 36-37 

Gazakon, 17, 23 

George (bishop of Alexandria), 12, 
16, 20, 23, 31-32. 34. 37 

George (bishop of Apamea), 78 
George of Cyprus, 117 
George of Pisidia, 8 
George (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 54, 58, 60 
George (turmarch of the 
Armeniacs), 25, 28 
Gepids, 22 

Germanikeia, 20, 85, 112, 132, 138 
Germanos (general), 2 
Germanos (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 61-62, 78, 
80-82, 85, 91-92, 99-100, 117, 

Germanos (patrician), 3-5 
Gethsemane, 64 
Ghamr, 103, 107 
Gibraltar, Straits of, 115 
Golden Gate, 52, 79, 103, 109, 122, 
153, 181 

Golden Horn, 22 

“golden spears,” 22 

Gothogreeks, 81 

Goudeser, 27. See also Seleukeia 

Goulaion, 163 

Goundabousan, 28 

Great Bulgaria, 55 

great church, 3-4, 13, 79-80, 

91-92, 106, 131, 137, 140, 
155 - 56 , 158, 161, 164, 173-74, 
181. See also Hagia Sophia 
Greater Zab River, 23, 25 
Greece, 112, 118, 128, 142. See also 
Hellas, theme of 

Greek fire, 52-53, 80, 89, 97, 1 10, 

Greek language, 73 
Greeks, 115, 141 
Greens, 4, 7, 79. See also Blues 
Gregoras, 6—8 
Gregory (administrator of 
Amastris), 163 

Gregory (bishop of Sinope), 152 
Gregory (killed by Kharijites), 113 






Gregory (logothete), 107 
Gregory (logothete of the drome), 

Gregory (patrician), 42-43 
Gregory (pope), 95, 100 
Gregory, son of Mousoulakios, 158. 

See also Mousouliakos, Gregory 
Gregory (son of Theodore), 44 
Gregory the Kappadokian, 66 

Habib, 44 

Hadrian (pope), 132, 136, 140, 
145-46, 149, 154-55 
Hagia Sophia, 67. See also great 

Hajjaj, 63-64, 69 
Halys River, 21 
Harran, 105, 109, 114-15 
Harun, 139, 141-42, 145, 149, 
162-64, 176 

Hasan (emir of Palestine), 5g 
Hasan (son of Mahdi), 138 
Hebdomon, 8, 52 
Hebraika, the, 174 
Hebrews, 7, 30, 34, 55, 93, 101, 

1 19, 138. See also Jews 
Helias, 74-77 

Heliopolis, 44, 53, 74, 112, 118, 


Heliopolitans, 112 
Hellas, theme of, 66, 97, 156. See 
also Greece 

Herakitai, Hierakitai, 47, 103 
Herakleia, 9, 179 

Herakleios (brother of Apsimaros), 
68, 70, 72 

Herakleios Constantine. See 
Constantine III 

Herakleios (Emperor), 6-41, 44, 57, 
60, 107, 128 

Herakleios (father of the Emperor), 


Herakleios (son of Constans II), 47, 
51 . 5 8 

Herakleios (son of Constantine III), 

Herakleios, monastery of, 161 
Heraklis, 163 
Heraklonas, 33, 41 
Herod, 99 

Hcsaios’ son, daughter of, 139 
Hexakionites, Nicholas. See Nicholas 

Hexakonion, 169 

Hexapolis, 48, 50 
Hiera, island of, 96 
Hierapolis, 3, 30-31 
Hiereia, council of, 117, 129, 145 
Iliereia, Hiereion, 30, 89, 127, 132, 

Hieron, 123, 157 
Himerios, 126 

hippodrome (of Constantinople), 

67. 99 . 126, 129, 136-37. 142, 

hippodrome (of St. Mamas), 182 
Hira, 37 

Hisham, 94-96, 101-2, 105, 107, 

Holy Apostles, church of, 146, 156, 

holy city. See Jerusalem 
Homeritai, 35. See also Yemenites 
Hormisdas (Persian king), 30-31, 


Hormisdas, monastery of, 6 
“house of darkness,” 29 
Huns, 19, 22. See also Avars 

lad, 39-40 

Iberia, 61-62, 85, 124 
Iberian gates, 55 
Iberians, 18, 24 
ibn-Hubayrah, 114 
ibn-Sayyar, 114 
ibn Wakkas, 132-33 
ibn Yunus, 142 
Ibrahim (caliph), 109 
Ibrahim (Shi’ite leader), 114 
Iconoclasts, 175 

icons, opposition to, 93, 95-100, 
104-5, *12-13. 116-17, 123, 
125, 131. 139. 143. 147. 169. 

Iesdem, 25; son of, 28 
Ikoniates, Theophylaktos, 126 
Illyria, 145 
imperial city, the. See 
Indian (cook), 76 
Indians, king of, 36 
Irene (empress 797-802), 127, 
131-32, 137 . 140 - 43 , 145-61, 
164, 171-72 

Irene (wife of Constantine V), 101, 

1 15 

Irenopolis, 143. See also Beroia 

Isa ibn Musa, 115, 124-25 
Isamitai, 47 
Isauria, 44, 85, 132 
Isbaali, 138 
Iscariot. See Judas 
Ishmael, 34 
Isoes, 92 
Israel, 127 

Ister River, 56. See also Danube 

Italians, 101 

Italy, 96, 100-101, 104 

Itaxes, 86 

Jacob. 139 
Jacobites, 31-32, 138 
Jerusalem, 11, 29-30, 32, 34, 37, 

39, 42, 53, i°2, 112, 117, 123, 
133 - * 39 ’ 165, 178 
“Jewish-minded” (epithet applied to 
Constantine V), 180 
Jew(s), 11, 30, 35, 44, 93, 133. See 
also Hebrews 

John (count of the Opsikion), 153 
John (deacon), 80-81 
John (executed by Phokas), 6 
John IV (pope), 32-33 
John of Damascus, 100, 108, 117 
John (patriarch of Constantinople), 
60-61, 78-79 
John (patrician), 67-68 
John (prefect under Justinian II), 

John (protospatharios), 148, 150 
John (sakellarios), 141, 148 
John (synkellos at Antioch), 145 
John the Baptist, 99, 120 
Jonah, 100 
Jordan, 11, 112 

Joseph (abbot of Purified monks, 
archbishop of Thessalonike), 
153, 165, 174 

Joseph (administrator under 
Tarasios), 165 
Judas, 99, 159, 169 
Julian, 121 

Julian, harbor of, 66. See also 
Sophia, harbor of 
Justinian II, 58-67, 70-77, 85-86, 
88, 102 

Justinian, triklinos of, 65, 157 
Kakorizos, 43 

Kakos River, 109. See also Lita River 





Kalbites, 1 1 1. See also Yemenites 
Kallinike, monastery of, 77 
Kallinikos (artificer), 53 
Kallinikos (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 60, 65-67, 69, 

Kallistratos, monastery of, 66, 77, 

Kalos Agros, harbor of, 89 
Kalybites, Andrew, 121 
Kamakhon, 74, 152 
Kameas, Stephen, 151 
Kamoulianos, Theodore, 148, 151 
Kappadokia, 6, 8, 10, 44-45, 68, 

83, 96, 101, 103, 119, 155, 157 
Kappadokians, 83, 178 
Kardamos, 150-51, 153 
Kardarigas, 3, 6, 27 
Karisterotzes, 137 
Kartalimen, 89 
Karteroukas, Theodore, 74 
Kasin, cave of, 136 
Kataias, John, 39-40 
Kentenaresion gate (of Cherson), 


Kephalenia, 69, 75, 77 
Khadija, 35 

Khagan of Avars, 3, 12-13, 54, 56; 
of Khazars, 22, 70, 72, 75-76, 
101, 1 15; son of, 98 
Khalid (Arab general), 67 
Khalid (emir), 52 

Khalid (ibn al-Walid, Arab general), 

3 6 

Khalkideis, 116 
Khalkis, 1 19 
Khamantha, 23 
Kharijites, 47, 111, 113, 127 
Kharsianon, 101 

Khazaria, 70, 72, 75, 98, 115, 123 
Khazars, 22, 56, 76 
Khelidonion, cape of, 149 
Khora, monastery of, 78, 110 
Khorasan, 64, 114, 165 
Khorasanians, 1 14 
Khosroegetai, 17 
Khosroes, 1-4, 6, 8-g, 11-13, 

15-18, 20-30; daughters of, 40 
Khoumeid, 164 

Kibyrhaiotai, Kibyrhaiot theme, 68, 
101, 109-10, 113, 132, 149 
Kilikia, 14, 52, 70, 74, 84, 150 
Kios, 161 
Kirkesion, 62 

Klausus, Patricius, 64 
Kleidion, 88 
Knapheus, Peter, 112 
Kokhlias, 4 

Komanites, Kosmas, 123 
Komentiolos, 6 
Konon, 98. See also Leo III 
Konstaes, 141 
Kopidnadon, 147 
Kormesios, 176 
Kosmas (city prefect), 7 
Kosmas (patriarch of Alexandria), 
107, 123 

Kosmas (rebel against Leo III), 97 
Kosmas (Roman deserter to 
Persians), 21 
Kotragos, 55 
Kotrigurs, 55 
Kottanas, 7 
Kouloukes, Leo, 132 
Kouphis River, 55, 123 
Kourikos, Sergios, 133 
Koutabas, 36 
Koutzodaktylos, Leo, 132 
Krasos, 105, 162 
“kristatai,” 94 
Krobatos, 55 

Krum, 165-66, 170-71, 175-82 
Kyklobion, 52, 88 
Kynegion, 72, 110, 126, 129 
Kyprianos, 53 
Kyriakos, 1, 4 

Kyzikos, g, 51-52, 60-61, 78, 80, 
90, 108, 177 

Lakhanodrakon, Michael, 128, 

i3 2 -33. i3 8 -39. '42. 150-51 
Lakhebaphos, Sergios, 133 
Lankinos, 105 
Laodikeia, 93 
Lazika, 22, 67, 85-86 
Lazikans, 18-19 
Lebanese, 62, 121 
Lebanon, 54, 59, 61, 121 
Lekanomantis, John, 61 
Lemnos, 128 

Leo III (Emperor), 61, 81-104, 145 
Leo IV, 115-16, 132, 136-39 
Leo V, 170, 176, 179-81 
Leo (brother of Aetios), 157-58 
Leo (cubicularius), 139 
Leo (general of the Thrakesians), 

Leo (logothete of the drome), 120 

Leo (sakellarios of Sinope), 158 
Leo (son of Constantine V), 154 
Leo III (pope), 154-55, i57~5 8 > 

Leo, house of, 1 

Leontios (Emperor), 60, 62, 66-68, 

72, 77 

Leontios (eunuch general), 3 
Lesbos, 96, 160-61 
Lesser Zab River, 25 
Leukadios, marketplace of, 121 
Leukate, 64 
Libon, 90 

Libya, 11, 115, 165 
Libyans, 163 
Lita River, 109 
Lithosoria, 134 
Lombards, 90, 94, 136, 148 
Lombardy, 148 
Long Walls, 9, 12, 119 
Lydia, 156 
Lykaonia, 169, 174 
Lykaonians, 161 
Lykia, 45, 52 
Lysias, 139 

Macedonia, 96, 104, 119, 175 
Macedonia, theme of, 157, 179 
Madianitin, 35 

Magnaura, 52, 88, 137, 143, 147, 
160, 169, 176 

Mahdi, 124, 136, 138-41, 143 
Maiouma (Arab general), 74 
Maiouma (toponym), 107 
Makrobios, 7 
Malagina, 146, 156, 161 
Malik, 103 
Mamalos, 141 

Manes (general of Bukellarii), 128, 

Manes (general of Kibyrhaiot 
theme), 101 

Manichaeans, 107, 169, 174 
Mansur, 100 

Mansur, son of. See John of 
Manuel, 38 

“Manzeros.” See John of Damascus 

Marcellinus, 110 

Mardaites, 54, 59, 61-63, 90 

Mardasan, 89 

Maria, 91-92, 106 

Maria of Amnia, 147, 152-53 

Marianos, 74 

Marianos (patrician; may be the 
same man as the preceding), 
103, 105 
Marinakes, 126 

Marine, palace of the descendants 
of, 5 

Marinos, 87 

Markellai, 151, 153, 170 
Martin I (pope), 33, 43, 46, 50 
Martina, 11-12, 33, 41 
Martyropolis, 20, 78 
Marwan I, 59 
Marwan II, 109, 111-16 
Masalaion, 84 

Maslama, 74, 78-79, 82-85, 88, 91, 
93, 96, 98, 101 
Mauretania, 8, 33 
Maurianos, 44 
Maurice, 1-2, 5-6, 10 
Mauros (toponym), 66 
Mauros, Mt., 54 
Maximinus, monastery of, 130 
Maximus, 33, 46, 50 
Mecca, 63-64, 117-18 
Medeia, 123 

Medes, land of, 17, 98. See also 
Media, Persia 

Media, 62, 98. See also Medes, land 

Medina, 45, 59, 63. See also Ethrib 
Mediterranean Sea, 34 
Melas, 120 
Meleonai, 176 
Melissenos, Michael, 128 
Melitene, 49, 78, 116, 118 
Melon, 141 
Merdasas, 28-29 
Mesembria, 56, 85, 122-23, 134. 

Mese of Antioch, 7; of 

Constantinople, 67, 130, 139 
Mesopotamia, 4, 40, 53-54, 62-63, 
105, 109, 112, 115, 142 
Mesopotamians, 138 
Mezezios, 28 

Michael (general of the Anatolies), 

Michael (papal legate), 80 
Michael I (Emperor; surnamed 
Rhangabe), 172-81 
Midas, 131, 170 
Milion, 110, 129, 150 
Mistheia, 78 
Mizizios, 51 





Moabites, land of, 119 
Modrine, 108, 110 
Monemvasia, 112 
monophysites, monophysitism, 33, 

Monotes, 106, 110 
monothelites, monotheledsm, 

32-34. 39. 43- 6o - 10 7 
Montanists, 93 
Mopsuestia, 61, 69 
Mopsuestians, 133 
Moropaulos, 71 
Moses, 34 

Moses (physician), 124 
Mothous, 36 
Moudaros, 34 
Moukheon, 36 
Moukhesias, 139 
Moulabit, 133 
Mount of Olives, 42 
Mousoulem, Alexios, 149-51 
Mousouliakos, Gregory, 138. See also 
Gregory, son of Mousoulakios 
Muawiyah (first Umayyad caliph), 

40-41, 43-55. 59. 61 
Muawiyah (son of Hisham), 96-98, 
101-2, 115 

Muhammad (Abbasid caliph). See 

Muhammad (Arab general), 64-66, 
69-70, 109 

Muhammad (prophet), 34-36, 46, 
108, 1 14, 1 18 

Muhammad (son of Abd Allah), 52 
Muhammad (son of Abd Allah the 
Abbasid caliph — Abd Allah is 
Theophanes’ name for 
Al-Mansur). See Mahdi 
Muhammad (son of Harun), 165, 
173, 176 
Mukhtar, 59, 62 
Musa, 143, 145 
Mu’sab, 62 
Myakes, 71 

Myakios, Theodore, 79 
Myra, 149, 164 

Nakoleia, 93, 142 
Narbas River, 27-28 
Narses, 2-3 
Neboulos, 64 
Nekropela, 55, 71, 123 
Neoresian harbor, 68, 81 

Nestorians, 21, 30, 32 

Nestorios, 124, 169 

New Repentance, monastery of, 9 

Nicholas (hermit), 169, 176 

Nicholas (quaestor), 78 

Nikaia (Bithynia), 81, 89, 97-98, 

104, 146-47, 177 
Nikaia (Thrace), 175 
Nikaia, second council of, 147, 175 
Nikaias, 83-84 

Nikephoros I (Emperor), 158-75, 

Nikephoros (duke), 141 
Nikephoros (father of Bardanes 
Philippikos; may be the same 
man as the Nikephoros who 
was a patrician in the time of 
Constans II), 69 
Nikephoros (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 61, 162, 169, 
172-74, 177-81 

Nikephoros (patrician in time of 
Constans II; may be father of 
Bardanes Philippikos), 50 
Nikephoros (patrician in time of 
Constantine VI), 149 
Nikephoros (patrician in time of 
Nikephoros I; may be the same 
as the preceding), 166 
Nikephoros (son of Artavasdos), 

108, 110 

Nikephoros (son of Constantine V), 
13c 11 37* 1 4°> 1 5 1 > x 5 6 . 


Nikephoros (son of Monotes), 106 
Niketas (bishop of Heliopolis), 1 18 
Niketas (domesticus of the scholae), 

Niketas (general), 151 
Niketas (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 61, 127-29, 
i3C 136-37. 139. 147 
Niketas (patrician), 170 
Niketas (son of Artavasdos), 108, 

1 10 

Niketas (son of Constantine V), 

131, 137. 14°. 15 1 . 156, 


Niketas (son of Gregoras), 6-8 
Nikomedeia, 84, 89, 104, 110 
Nikomedeia, gulf of, 64 
Nineveh, 23, 25 
Ninkhia, 123 

Nisibis, 117 
Nizaros, 34 
Numidia, 33 
Nymphios River, 20 

Ocean, the, 55 
Odyssos, 57 
Oglos, 56 

Onogundur Bulgars, 55 
Onomagoulos, Basil, 90-91 
Onomagoulos, Gregory, 90 
Opsikion, theme of the; Opsikians, 
62, 76-77, 79-81, 92, 105-6, 
110, 126, 137, 147, 153, 156, 
158, 175 

optimatoi, 134, 156 
Osrhoene, 39 
Oxeia, island of, 89 

Paganos, 122, 125 
Palestine, 6, 11, 29, 34-35, 37, 39, 
41, 46, 59, 64, 1 12, 1 16, 
118-19, 132, 176, 178 
Palestinians, 163 
Palmyra, 112, 127 
Pamphilos, 5 
Pankratios, 151 
Pannonia, 56 
Panormos, island of, 176 
“papa Ioannakis.” See John 

Papatzun, 70 
Paphlagonia, 6, 101 
Paphlagonian (pretender to 
Byzantine throne), 102 
Papias, 139 
Pasagnathes, 44 
Pastillas, 117 
Patrikios, 6 

Paul (chartularius), 90-91 
Paul (count of the Opsikion), 


Paul (general of the Armeniacs), 

Paul (magistrianos), 61 
Paul (monk), 66 
Paul II (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 33, 41, 43-44 
Paul III (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 60, 62-63 
Paul IV (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 6i, 138-40, 

Paulicians, Paulician heresy, 118, 
169, 174-75, 180 
Pauline, church of, 77 
Pelagios, cemetery of, 130; 

memorial of, 1 10; monastery 
of, 125 

Peloponnese, 142 
Pentapolis, 8 
Pepin, 94-95 
Perama River, 166 
Pergamon, 85 
Perge, 117 
Perozitai, 17 
Persarmenia, 19 
Persarmenians, 19 
Persia, 11-14, 16-17, 20, 22-23, 27, 
29. 40. 59- 62-64, 69, 93, 109, 
112, 114-15, 117-18, 162, 165, 

Persian Empire, 30 
Persian(s), 1-4, 6, 9-19, 21-25, 

27-30. 36. 40, 42, 47-48. 

1 15-17, 1 19, 162 
Peter (abbot), 145 
Peter (abbot of Goulaion), 163 
Peter (brother of Maurice), 1 
Peter (church administrator), 145 
Peter (magistros), 130, 142, 148 
Peter (metropolitan of Damascus), 

Peter of Maiouma, 107-8 
Peter (patrician), 158, 166, 171 
Peter (stylite), 120 
Petrin, 66 

Petronas (officer), 53 

Petronas (protospatharios), 132 

Petronia, 5 

Phalaris, 170 

Phanagouria, 55, 70 

Pharaoh, 101, 112, 170 

Pharas, 32 

Pharasmanios, 87 

Pharos, church of, 132, 181 

Phasis, 31, 85-86 

Philea, 78 

Philetos, 148 

Philip of Macedon, 104 

Philippi, 175 

Philippikos, 4 

Philippikos (Emperor). See Bardanes 

Philippopolis, 143, 175 
Phoenicia, 6, 34, 38, 45, 59, 80, 93 



Phoenix, 45 
Phokas, 1-10, 27 
Phrygia, 50, 162, 169, 174 
Pikridios. See John (protospatharios) 
Pisidia, 83 

Pitzigaudis, John, 54 
Platanaion, 100 
Plateia, island of, 89 
Plato (abbot), 153, 162, 165, 174 
Podopagouros, Constantine, 126-27 
Podopagouros, Strategics, 126-27, 

Pontos, 128 
Pouzanes, 110 
Prainetos, 104 

Praitorion, 7, 66, 139-40, 151 
Prince’s Island, 6, 127, 129, 160-61 
Priskos, 2, 5-6 
Probaton, 150, 175 
Proklianesian harbor, 52 
Prokonnessos, 91 

Prokopia, 172-73, i75> *7 8 ’ 180-81 
Prokopios (city prefect), 126 
Prokopios (envoy of Constans II), 

Propontis, 123 
Prote, island of, 161 
Prusa, 154 
Ptolemaios, 40 
Purified monks, 153 
Purple Chamber, 155 
Pylai, 154 

Pyrrhos, 33, 39-4 1, 44 > 57 
Qahtabah, 114 

Qais (Arab general), 52; son of, 53 
Qais (Arab tribal group), 35 
Qaisites, 114, 116, 121 
Quraysh, 35-36, 54 

Ram’s Face (cape), 55 
Ravenna, 33, 56 
Rhabias, 34 

Rhangabe, Michael. See Michael I 
(Emperor; surnamed 

Rhangabe, Theophylaktos, 140 
Rhangabe, Theophylaktos (son of 
Michael I), 174 
Rhazates, 23-27 
Rhendakis, Sisinnios, 92 
Rhodes, 44, 80, 164 
Rhodes, Colossus of, 44 

Rhogas, son of Aphros, 8 
Rhousa, 25 

Rhousios, Stephen, 66-67 
Roman Empire, 54, 57, 7 <>_ 7 1 • 82 ■ 

85, 87-88, 90, 99-100, 141-43, 
156, 160, 163 

Romania, 34, 45, 47 _ 4 8 > 61-62, 65, 
67-69, 74, 79-80, 8 3> 8 6- 8 7> 
95-96, 101-3, 106-7, 119-20, 
!3 2- 34> !36-3 8 > i47 > j 56, 163 

Romanos (general of Anatolic 
theme), 171 
Romanos (patrician), 5 
Romanos (spatharios), 77 
Roman(s) (people of the Roman 
i.e., Byzantine — Empire), 1-3, 

6, 9-10, 14-16, 18-22, 24-27, 

2 9, 34- 37 _ 3 8 > 4 °~ 4 1 ’ 43 _ 46, 

50, 54, 56, 61-64, 67, 69-70, 

73, 86, 103, 122, 138, 141, 

147, i49-5 0 > 165-180 
Romans (inhabitants of Rome), 155 
Rome, 32-33, 43, 46-47, 5°, 7 2 > 

77> 94-96> 100-101, 117, 
145-46, 154-55’ *74 
Rousmiazas, 3 
Rufus, 79 

Saba, 107 
Sabbatios, 64 

Sabinos (Bulgar ruler), 122, 125 
Sabinos (rebel in Khorasan), 64 
Saborios, 48-50 
Said, 62 

Sain, 16, 18—19, 22 
St. Auxentios, monastery of, 125, 

St. Euthymios, monastery of, 165 
St. George River, 150 
St. Helias, church of, 96 
St.John the Theologian, 152 
St. Khariton, monastery of, 165, 


St. Kyriakos, monastery of, 165 
St. Mamas (suburb), 81, 109-10, 
121, 123, 148, 151, i53 _ 54’ 
166, 182 

St. Nicholas, 164 
St. Paul, 144, 174, !77 
St. Peter, 99, 174 

St. Peter, church of (at Rome), 155 
St. Saba, monastery of, 145, 165, 

St. Sophia, church of (at Nikaia), 
J 47 

St. Stephen, oratory of, 9-10, 131 
St. Theodosios, monastery of, 165 
St. Thomas, mole of, 125 
Sakkoudion, monastery of, 153 
Salabaras or Salibaras, Theodosios, 
166, 170-71 
Salbanoi, 19 
Saliar, 28 

Salibas. See Stephen/Salibas 
Salibas, Theophylaktos, 73 
Salim, son of Ali, 114-15, 117, 

1 19-20 
Samaria, 115 
Samosata, 20, 69 
Sappheira, 174 
Sapphis, 47 
Sarablangas, 17-18 
“Saracen-minded” (epithet of 
iconoclasts), 97, 105 
Saracen(s), 11, 14, 16, 30, 34, 
36-40, 42-43, 51, 55, 62, 70, 
80, 82-83, 85-87, 91, 97, 154, 
170. See also Agarenes; Arabs 
Sarbaros, Sarbarazas, 14-15, 18-24, 
27, 29-30; sons of, 28 
Sardica, 165-66 
Sardis, 108 
Sarmatia, 56 
Sarmatians, 55 
Saros River, 20-21 
Satyros, 89 
Sea of Azov, 55 
Sebasteia, 21 
Sebastopolis, 64 
Sebereis, 57, 125 
Seirem, 27-28 

Seleukeia, 27-28. See also Goudeser 
Seleukobolos, 48 
Selikhos, 121 
Selymbria, 135 
Semalous, fortress of, 139 
Sennacherib, 181 
Serantopekhos, Constantine, 156 
Serantopekhos, Leo, 158 
Serantopekhos, Theophylaktos, 156 
Sergios (governor of Sicily), 90-91 
Sergios (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 6, 8-13, 15, 
20, 23, 27, 30-34, 36-39, 57 
Sergios (Saborios’ general), 48-49 
Sergios (soldier), 37 

Sergios (son of Barnoukios), 67 
Sergios (son of Mansur), 64 
Severus, 32 
Siazouros, 28 
Sicilians, 140 

Sicily, 47, 50-51, 90, 101, 104, 112, 
126, 140-41, 148, 152, 157 
Sideron, 87 
Sideropalos, 163 
Sideroun, 102 
Sinai, Mt., 36 
Sinope, 76, 79, 152, 158 
Siroes, 28-30 

Sisinniakos or Sisinnios (general of 
Thrakesian theme), 106, 109, 

Sision, 70 
Skamaroi, 125 
Sklabounos, 125 

Sklavinians, Sklavenoi, Slavs, 22, 48, 
57, 62, 64-65, 71, 117, 122, 
142, 156, 171 

Sklavinia(s), 46, 62, 119, 142, 166 
Skombros, Andrew, 6 
Skotiopsis. See Constantine 

(patriarch of Constantinople) 
Skythians, 101. See also Khagan of 
the Khazars 

Sophia, harbor of, 66. See also 
Julian, harbor of 
Sophianai, 123, 138 
Sophon, 90 
Sophronios, 32, 37-39 
Spain, 94, 115 
Spelaion, monastery of, 120 
Sphendone, 7, 67 

Staurakios (Emperor), 161-64, 17°. 
i7 2 -75 

Staurakios (eunuch patrician), 142, 
146, 148, 150-51, 154, 156-57 
Stenon, 65, 78 

Stephen (metropolitan of Kyzikos), 


Stephen (patriarch of Antioch), 107, 

1 1 1 

Stephen (patrician), 172-73 
Stephen (rebel against Leo III), 97 
Stephen/Salibas, 71 
Stephen (solitary monk), 125, 131 
Stephen the Persian, 65, 67 
Stephen II (pope), 94-95 
Stoudion, monastery of, 162, 165, 
174. 177 




Strategios, 139 
Strongylon, castle of, 135 
Strouthos, John, 76-77 
Strymon River, 148, 165, 175 
Sufyan, 89 

Sufyan, son of Auf, 53 
Suleiman (caliph), 80, 82-84, 88-89 
Suleiman (son of Hisham), 102-3, 
106, 109, 112 

Syagros, gate of (at Cherson), 76 
Sykai, 51, 68. See also Galata 
Sykes, 132-33 
Syllaion, 53, 117 
Symbolon, 7° 

Symeon, 173 
Synnada, 103, 163 
Syracuse, 47, 50, 90 
Syria, 4, 6, 9, n, 20, 37, 39, 46-48, 
50. 53-54- 59- 62, 65, 69, 

79-80, 91, 93- 96, 100, 102-3, 
108, 112, 115, 117-19, 123, 

131, 135, 138, 142, l6a - l6 5- 

Syrian(s), 93, 107, 112, 118, 121, 
138- 163 

Syros, George, 75-76 

Taranton, 20, 69 

Tarasios, 61, 127, 143-47. 149, 

153, 161-62, 165, 178 
Tarsos, 150 
Tartaros, 179 
Tatzatios or Tatzates, 142 
Tauroura (“The Bull’s Tail”), 75 
Taurus (constellation), 179 
Taurus mountains, 20 
Telerigos, 135, 137 
Teletzes, 122 
Teridates, 108 
Tervel, 71-73, 92 
Tetraditoi, 175 
Thabit (Arab general), 176 
Thabit (Kharijite rebel), 1 1 1 
Thebarmai's, 17 
Thebasa, 152, 162-63 
Themime, 35 
Theodora, 70, 72 

Theodore (abbot of Stoudion), 162, 
165, 174, 177 

Theodore (bishop of Pharas), 32 
Theodore (brother of Constans II), 
47- 5° 

Theodore (brother of Herakleios) , 
22, 29, 37, 44 

Theodore (count of Abydos), 9 
Theodore I (pope), 33 
Theodore (governor of 
Kappadokia), 8 

Theodore (officer under Irene), 

141, 148 

Theodore of Koloneia, 50-51 
Theodore (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 53, 59-61 
Theodore (patriarch of Jerusalem), 

Theodore (praetorian prefect of 
east), 5, 8 

Theodore (sakellarios), 37-38 
Theodore, son of Mansur, 102 
Theodore, son of Vicarius 

(patriarch of Antioch), 116, 

1 18, 123 

Theodore (Syrian rebel against 
Arabs), 121 
Theodore (vicar), 36 
Theodosiana, 84 

Theodosianoi (monophysite sect), 

3 2 

Theodosianoi, castle of, 8 
Theodosiopolis, 116, 118 
Theodosios f (“the Great”), 103 
Theodosios III, 81-85, 88, 176 
Theodosios (bishop of Ephesos), 

1 16 

Theodosios (son of Maurice), 1, 5 
Theodosios (soubadioubas), 6 
Theodote, 152-54, 165 
Theodotos (king of Lombards), 

136, 147 

Theodotos (patriarch of 
Constantinople), 61 
Theodotos (public finance 
minister), 65, 67 
Theognostos, 151 
Theoktistes, 92 
Theoktistos, 158, 172, 178 
Theologian, the. See St. John 
Theopemptos, 5 
Theophanes (cubicularius and 
parakoimoenos), 139 
Theophanes (faction-leader), 5 
Theophanes (patrician and 
magistros), 106 

Theophanes (protospatharios), 147 
Theophano the Athenian, 164, 172, 

Theophilos (general of 
Kibyrhaiotai), 149 

Theophilos (henchman of Justinian 

II), 7i 

Theophilos (spatharios), 140 
Theophilos (turmarch), 152 
Theophylaktos (cubicularius), 72 
Theophylaktos (executed by 
Constantine V), 126 
Theophylaktos (patriarch of 
Antioch), 111, 116 
Theopolis, 62 
Thera, 96 

Therapeia, monastery of, 156 
Therasia, 96 

Thessalonike, 45, 63, 79, 81, 92, 
142, 145, 153, 165, 174 
Thomaites, 150 
Thomarikhos, 43, 48 
Thomas (cubicularius), 139 
Thomas (eventual archbishop of 
Thessalonike), 145 
Thomas (patriarch of 

Constantinople), 3-4, 6 
Thrace, 6, 12, 22, 52, 55-56, 62, 
65, 72-73- 79, 81, 85, 88-89, 
103, 109, 112, 118, 122, 125, 
128, 138, 141-42, 146, 153, 
164, 175-76, 178-79 
Thrace, theme of, 106, 126, 147, 
i5 6 -57. 170-7 1 

Thrakesians, Thrakesian theme, 

75- 76, 106, 108-9, 1 1 L 120, 
128, 132-34, 138, 156, 175 

Thumarna, brother of, 139 
Thumama, son of Baka, 1 37-39 
Tiberias, 30 

Tiberius III. See Apsimaros 
Tiberius (rebel). See Onomagoulos, 

Tiberius (son of Constans II), 47, 
5 1 - 58 

Tiberius (son of Justinian II), 72, 

76- 77, 102 
Tiflis, 22 

Tigris River, 20, 27-28 
Tomi, 70 
Torna River, 25 

Tourkos, Bardanes or Bardanios, 
160-61, 169 
Trakhonitis, 115 
Trebizond, 87 

Triphyllios or Triphylles, Niketas, 

Triphyllios or Triphylles, Sisinnios, 
156, 158-59, 171 
Tripolis, 45 
Triton, 154 

Tudun, the (Khazar official), 75-76 
Turks, 22-23, 28, 98, 101, 123-24. 

See also Khazars 
Tyana, 74, 103, 163 
Tzigatos, 133 
Tzikas, 125 
Tzitas, 6 

Tzoukanisterin, 132 
Tzouroulon, 175 

Umar I, 37-42 
Umar II, 82, 84, 8g-g2 
Umayyad dynasty, 114 
Uthman (Arab general), 74 
Uthman, son of Affan (caliph), 

Valens, 121 

Valentinian (Emperor), 128 
Valentinian or Valentinus 
(patrician), 41-42 
Varna, 57, 134 

Walid I, 71, 73, 78, 80 
Walid II, 107-9, 1 1 1 - 114 

Xerolophos, 103 
Xylinites, Niketas, 92 

Yarmuk River, 34, 38 
Yemenites, 35, 1 14. See also 
Homeritai, Kalbites 
Yezid I, 50, 55, 58-59 
Yezid II, 89, 92-93, 95 
Yezid III Leipsos, 109 
Yezid, son of Muhallab, 92-93 

Zab River, 114 

Zachariah, 6, 8, 10-12, 16, 20, 23, 
29-3 U 34 

Zeuxippos, bath-house of, 79 

Ziebel, 22 

Ziyad, 61 

Zoi'los, 75-76 

Zonggoes, 3 

Zubayr (father of Abd Allah), 59, 

Zubayr (Saracen cavalryman), 82 




Edward Peters, General Editor 

Christian Society and the Crusades, 1198-1229. 
Sources in Translation, including The 
Capture of Damietta by Oliver of Paderborn. 
Edited by Edward Peters 

The First Crusade: The Chronicle of Fulcher of Chartres 
and Other Source Materials. Edited by 
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Love in Twelfth-Century France. John C. Moore 

The Burgundian Code: The Book of Constitutions or 
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The Lombard Laws. Translated, with an 

Introduction, by Katherine Fischer Drew 

From St. Francis to Dante: Translations from the 
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Witchcraft in Europe, 1110-1700: A Documentary 
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The Scientific Achievement of the Middle Ages. 

Richard C. Dales 

History of the Lombards. Paul the Deacon. Translated by 
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The World of Piers Plowman. Edited and translated by 
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Law, Church, and Society: Essays in Honor of Stephan 
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The Magician, the Witch, and the Law. Edward Peters 

Daily Life in the World of Charlemagne. Pierre Riche. 
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Repression of Heresy in Medieval Germany. 

Richard Kieckhefer 

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Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe. Edited, with an 
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Rhinoceros Bound: Cluny in the Tenth Century. 

Barbara H. Rosenwein 

On the Threshold of Exact Science: Selected Writings of Anneliese Maier on 
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Miracles and the Medieval Mind: Theory, Record and Event, 1000-1215. 
Benedicta Ward 

The Chronicle of Theophanes: An English Translation of anni mundi 
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